Spike the chihuahua didn’t hold the title of the world’s oldest dog for long. Bobi, a 30-year-old dog from Portugal, recently broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest dog — ever!
Bobi was born on May 11, 1992, making him 30 years and 266 days old, as of Feb. 1. When Bobi was a puppy, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” was in theaters and Whitney Houston belted “I Will Always Love You” on the radio and George H.W. Bush was the U.S. president … until Bill Clinton was elected later that year.
The global authority on all things record-breaking shared photos of the good boy on Facebook.
“Two weeks after announcing Spike as the world’s oldest dog living, Guinness World Records have received evidence of an older dog,” the post says. “A much older dog. In fact, Bobi (b. 11 May 1992) is not just the oldest dog living; he’s the oldest dog ever!”
Bobi is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a type of livestock guardian dog with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. He has lived with the Costa family in the rural village of Conqueiros in Leiria, Portugal, since he was a puppy. His family registered him with the Veterinary Medical Service of the Municipality of Leiria in 1992. SIAC, a government-authorized pet database managed by the National Union of Veterinarians, has also verified Bobi’s age.
Bobi’s story is even more miraculous, as his life almost ended as soon as it began. When he and his littermates were born, the family didn’t think they could take on more dogs.
“I was eight years old. My father was a hunter, and we always had many dogs,” Leonel Costa, now age 38, told Guinness World Records. “Unfortunately, at that time it was considered normal by older people who could not have more animals at home […] to bury the animals in a hole so that they would not survive.”
Somehow, the adults missed one of the puppies. Costa and his brother discovered Bobi’s mother nursing him and kept the pup a secret from their parents until he had grown.
“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Costa said. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.”
Costa attributes the sociable dog’s long life to a calm, peaceful environment where he has always been free to roam the farmland and forests. He has lived on a diet of human food. These days, Bobi has trouble seeing and getting around, so he relaxes at home.
“Bobi is special because looking at him is like remembering the people who were part of our family and unfortunately are no longer here, like my father, my brother, or my grandparents who have already left this world,” Costa told Guinness World Records. “Bobi represents those generations.”
The previous record holder for the world’s oldest dog was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who died in 1939 at 29 years and 5 months old.