After an Incredible Life, the World's Oldest Living Dog, Bobi, Dies at 31

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Oct. 26 2023, Updated 10:37 a.m. ET

The Gist:

  • A Rafeiro do Alentejo dog named Bobi broke multiple records when he turned 31 in May 2023.
  • Tragically, Bobi passed away in October 2023.
  • Now, a Chihuahua named Spike seems to be the oldest living dog.
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In May 2023, the dog who held the record for the world's oldest living dog — as well as the oldest dog to have ever lived — broke his own record by turning 31 years old. But sadly, five months later, Bobi, the seemingly immortal Rafeiro do Alentejo dog, passed away.

To learn more about Bobi's incredibly charmed life, as well as to learn more about a few of the other longest living dogs, keep reading.

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Bobi, the oldest living dog, died in October 2023.

Bobi, the oldest living dog in recorded history, passed away on either Oct. 20 or 21, 2023.

According to Guinness World Records, Bobi was 31 years and 165 days old when he died in an animal hospital in Portugal.

Guinness learned the news from a Facebook post shared by veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, who was a huge fan of Bobi.

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Bobi was also the oldest dog to ever walk the Earth, as far as we know.

In February 2023, Guinness World Records declared that Bobi was officially the oldest living dog in the world. Not only that, but Bobi was also the oldest dog to ever live, at least on record.

Bobi was born on May 11, 1992, meaning that at the time of the record announcement, he was 30 years old. Then, in May 2023, Bobi turned 31.

Bobi celebrated his 31st birthday on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at his family's house in Portugal, with more than 100 people in attendance. As reported by ABC News, a dance group performed for the guests, and Bobi even joined them in one of their dances.

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Bobi, a Rafeiro do Alentejo dog, had many secrets to a long life.

According to Guinness World Records, Bobi lived with the Costa family in Conqueiros, Leiria, Portugal since he was born. He was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo dog, a breed often used as a watchdog and livestock protector. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a Rafeiro do Alentejo dog's lifespan is typically 12 to 14 years — meaning Bobi lived for more than double his life expectancy.

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As for Bobi's secret to longevity, Leonel Costa attributed it to the peaceful rural environment where Bobi lived, and the fact that he was never attached to a leash or chain. Instead, he was always allowed to roam freely on the land near the Costa family's property.

Additionally, Bobi typically ate "human food" (that was soaked in water, to remove the seasonings). Not to mention, according to the AKC, Rafeiro do Alentejos are known for being affectionate with their families — so maybe all that love helped Bobi thrive. In honor of his 31st birthday in May 2023, it was reported that Bobi was still in good health, though his eyesight had worsened, and he had become much less active. Instead of roaming in nature, he grew to love chilling with the family's cats.

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That said, Bobi's life was not always so tranquil. Leonel Costa, who was 8 when Bobi was born, told Guinness World Records that Bobi was born to their dog Gia, in a litter of four puppies. At the 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," as long as they had not yet opened their eyes, he said.

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However, when Leonel's parents took the puppies and — tragically — buried them, they accidentally left Bobi behind. Leonel and his brothers found Bobi hiding amongst wood storage soon after, and hid him from their parents until the puppy's eyes opened.

“We knew that when the dog opened its eyes, my parents would no longer bury it,” Leonel explained. “It was popular knowledge that this act could not or should be done.” Leonel's parents punished him and his brother, but they had no choice but to keep Bobi — and obviously, the entire family fell in love with the adorable pooch.

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Spike takes Bobi's place as the oldest living dog.

Just a few weeks before Bobi was crowned the oldest living dog, Guinness World Records announced that a Chihuahua named Spike was the oldest dog on Earth. Spike was born in 1999, meaning he was 23 years old when Guinness World Records declared him the oldest dog on Earth in May 2023. Obviously, Bobi broke his record soon after — but with Bobi sadly passing away, it seems that Spike is again the oldest living dog, as of October 2023.

And Spike has an incredible story. According to Guinness World Records, 13 years ago, Rita Kimball found Spike in a supermarket parking lot in Ohio. He'd allegedly been there for three days, and his body had visible signs of abuse. Kimball and her family adopted Spike, who was determined to be 10 years old at the time, making him 23 now.

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Kimball believes the key to Spike's long life has been his strict routine, which involves "working" on Kimball's farm and playing with the farm animals.

“I believe Spike is still here because after having such a terrible life at first, he makes the best of each day,” she said.

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Pebbles, the former oldest living dog, died at 22.

In April 2022, Guinness named a 21-year-old Chihuahua called TobyKeith as the oldest dog in the world. But soon after, Guinness stated that a Toy Fox Terrier named Pebbles had actually surpassed TobyKeith.

Sadly, in October 2022, Pebbles died at the age of 22.

Before that, Bramble and Bluey held the records for oldest dog.

Before these cuties, a dog named Bramble was long known as the oldest living dog. The Border Collie passed away in 2003 at the age of 25 — and interestingly, her long lifespan has been attributed to her vegan diet.

And before Bobi, an Australian cattle dog named Bluey was known as the oldest dog ever on record. He died at the age of 29, way back in the year 1939.

This article, originally published on Feb. 8, 2023, has been updated to reflect Bobi turning 31, and again to reflect Bobi passing away.

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