Certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest living dog in the world and the longest-living canine ever, 31-year-old Bobi lives with the Costa family in Conqueiros, Portugal.
In the Portuguese village of Conqueiros, dozens of people recently gathered to celebrate a birthday. But it wasn’t just any birthday. It was for a dog named Bobi, who, at 31 years old, stands as the oldest living dog in the world.
Born in 1992, Bobi has lived a long and peaceful life in his rural Portuguese village. His owners credit his longevity to his diet and lifestyle, and to the fact that Bobi — surrounded by other animals — has never been lonely.
Today, the world’s oldest dog — and the oldest dog ever alive in recorded history — has started to slow down. He’s going blind and takes more naps than he used to, but it cannot be denied that Bobi has lived a remarkable life.
How The World’s Oldest Living Dog Nearly Died As A Puppy
A purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo — a breed of Portuguese dog that usually lives up to 14 years — Bobi was born on May 11, 1992. But according to his owner, Leonel Costa, he wasn’t supposed to survive for very long.
As NPR reports, Costa’s family already had a number of animals in their care when Bobi’s mother, Gira, gave birth. At the time, it was commonplace to bury unwanted puppies, so Costa’s father took them away to bury them.
Shortly afterward, however, Costa and his brother noticed that Gira kept returning to the shed where the puppies had been born. One day they followed her, and found to their surprise that one of the puppies had been left behind — Bobi. Costa suspects that Bobi’s brown fur kept him hidden.
Without telling their parents, Costa and his brother took care of Bobi, watching over him until his eyes opened. Then they admitted to their secret, hoping Bobi wouldn’t be sent away.
“I confess that when they found out that we already knew, they screamed a lot and punished us, but it was worth it and for a good reason!” Costa, who was eight years old when he rescued Bobi, told NPR.
Fortunately, Costa’s parents agreed to let Bobi stay with the family. And the dog who almost died as a puppy kept on living — and living.
Inside Bobi’s Peaceful Life In Portugal
When people learn that Bobi is the world’s oldest living dog, a common question is — how? For Costa, it’s something of a mystery.
“Bobi has been a warrior for all these years,” Costa said, according PEOPLE. “Only he knows how he’s been holding on, it must not be easy because the average dog’s lifespan is not that high, and if he spoke, only he could explain this success.”
But Costa does have some guesses.
In a Guinness World Record statement, Costa suggested that Bobi’s longevity could come from his “calm, peaceful environment.” Bobi has never been leashed or chained, and is free to wander the forests of Conqueiros.
What’s more, Bobi has spent his life surrounded by other animals, including his mother, Gira, who lived to the age of 18. He’s never been lonely, Costa said, and is a “very sociable” dog. Plus, Bobi only eats unseasoned human food, and not dog food, which may have also contributed to his long life.
“We see situations like this as a normal result of the life that they have,” Costa said in the Guinness World Record statement, noting that his family had raised several dogs into old age, “but Bobi is one of a kind.”
Bobi is “one of a kind” in more ways than one. According to the Guinness World Records, he is the “oldest dog living and oldest dog ever.”
So how is Bobi doing these days?
Bobi The Oldest Dog Ever Alive Turns 31 In Style
In May 2023, Bobi celebrated his 31st birthday with a party. Over 100 people traveled to Conqueiros to mark Bobi’s long life, enjoy a dance troupe, and snack on local meats and fish (which Bobi enjoyed as well).
According to Costa, the world’s oldest living dog is still in fairly good health. He has some difficulty walking, so he spends most of his time hanging out in the yard or napping after meals. Bobi’s eyesight has also started to fade, so he sometimes bumps into things.
Costa explained that Bobi’s health suffered a bit in February 2023, when he was officially awarded his Guinness World Records titles, because of all the excitement of visiting journalists.
“They’ve come from all over Europe, as well as the USA and even Japan,” Costa said. “There were a lot of pictures taken and he had to get up and down many times. It wasn’t easy for him… His health was a little damaged, but now it’s better.”
Now, with life returning to normal, Bobi can relax and enjoy his world records. Before him, NPR reports that the the record-holder for oldest dog ever was held by as held by an Australian cattle dog named Bluey. Bluey was born in 1910 and lived to be 29 years and five months old.
At 31, Bobi more than surpasses Bluey’s record. But for Costa, the superlatives are secondary to the gift of having Bobi in his life for so long.
“We are very happy and grateful to life for allowing us, after 30 years, to have Bobi in our daily lives,” he said.
After reading about the world’s oldest dog, look through these heartwarming photos of celebrities with their dogs. Or, discover the story of mercy dogs, the brave canines who saved human lives during World War I.