Guinness World Records said on Tuesday that it has suspended and was re-examining its “world’s oldest dog” record. The publishing company had given the record to a Portuguese dog named Bobi, which died in October of last year.
The move follows criticism from veterinarians who raised doubts about the dog’s age.
Bobi was a kind of dog called a Rafeiro do Alentejo. He spent his life in a village in Portugal. Guinness World Records said the animal lived for 32 years and 165 days. It broke a record held since 1939 by an Australian cattle-dog that died at 29 years and five months.
Bobi was declared the world’s oldest dog in February.
Rafeiro do Alentejo are traditionally used to watch sheep. They have a normal life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
Guinness World Records (GWR) said the review into Bobi’s record was ongoing. The company added that it would re-examine evidence, seek new evidence, and reach out to experts and those linked to the application.
"While our review is ongoing, we have decided to temporarily pause applications on both the record titles for oldest dog living and (oldest dog) ever until all of our findings are in place and have been communicated," the spokesperson said.
Bobi's owner, Leonel Costa, said in a statement on Tuesday that after his dog's death, "an elite within the veterinary world...tried to give people the idea that Bobi's life story was not true."
Costa said some veterinarians were unhappy because he said Bobi’s long life came from the dog eating “human food,” which he said was often suggested by those in the field.
"Everything would be different if we had said he (Bobi) ate pet food,” Costa said, adding that all requirements requested by the GWR were met.
Costa said GWR has not reached out to him.
No action has yet been taken about any record holders, the publisher said. It added that any action would be decided by the review’s outcome.
Before his death, Bobi still loved walks but had become calmer, Costa told Reuters. His hair, or fur, was thinning, his eyesight had worsened, and he needed to rest more than in earlier years.
I'm Gena Bennett.
Gregory Stachel adapted this story for VOA Learning English using information from Reuters and The Associated Press.
Words in This Story
veterinarian – n. a person who is trained to give medical care and treatment to animals: an animal doctor
application – n. a formal and usually written request for something (such as a job, admission to a school, or a loan)
pause – n. a temporary stop: a period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again
title –n. the state of being the champion, best or top rated in some group or sport
elite – n. a successful and powerful person
pet – n. an animal (such as a dog, cat, bird, or fish) that people keep mainly for pleasure