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World's 'oldest dog' has title stripped amid doubts over age

Bobi poses alongside his Guinness World Record certificate (AP)
Bobi poses alongside his Guinness World Record certificate (AP)

The world’s “oldest dog” has lost its title after veterinarians cast doubt on claims that it had lived to 31.

Bobi the Portuguese mastiff died last October, reportedly aged 31 years and 165 days, eight months after it was honoured as the world's oldest living canine.

However, his Guinness World Record (GWR) title has been posthumously revoked after organisers said on Thursday that it “no longer has the evidence it needs to support Bobi’s claim as the record holder”.

GWR said it opened an investigation following concerns raised by vets and other experts.

Bobi died in Portugal last October, with his 1992 birth apparently confirmed by the country's pet database.

But a magazine probe later found he had only been registered by owner Leonel Costa in 2022 and officials did not have date of birth proof.

"We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles," Mark McKinley, GWR's director of records, who conducted the review, said in a statement.

The group had suspended the title pending the review, announced last month.

"We of course require evidence for all Guinness World Records titles we monitor, often a minimum of two statements from witnesses and subject experts," Mr McKinley said.

He said they also considered pictures, video and data relevant to the achievement.

GWR said they found that a lack of evidence from Bobi's microchip data left them with no conclusive evidence of his date of birth.

Mr McKinley said that it was too early to speak about a new record holder.

"It's going to take a long time for microchip uptake around the world to catch up with pet ownership, especially of older pets," he said.

"Until that time, we'll require documentary evidence for all years of a pet's life."

Bobi was a Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed that has an average life expectancy of about 10 to 14 years.

In an emailed statement in January, his owner defended the title, saying Guinness World Records had spent a year examining the record claim.