Archive for February, 2012
In December of 2011, Pusuke died at the ripe old age of 26 years old. Pusuke lived in Japan with his human Yumiko Shinohara. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Pusuke was the oldest living dog on record. No successor to the title of World’s Oldest Living Dog has been named as of yet, but there are actually quite a few dogs in the running for the title.
World’s Oldest Dog Ever
The World’s Oldest Dog on record with Guinness is Bluey, an Australian cattle dog. Bluey was 29 years and 5 months old at the time of death. This is interesting to note because Bluey was a pure-bred dog.
There have been other dog owners who have tried to claim the title of having owned the world’s oldest dog, but none have proven their case to the Guinness officials. In most cases, a lack of paper proof is the missing key.
An Interesting Observation
When going through the list of dogs that the Guinness officials have to sort through when trying to determine the oldest dog records, there is a very interesting point that sticks out. Almost every dog on the list is a mixed-breed dog. Sure, there are a few dogs on the shortlist that are purebred, but that certainly isn’t the norm. Pusuke was a Shiba mix.
While mixed-breed dogs are more common on the shortlist, the oldest dog titles almost always go to pure-bred dogs. If that sounds odd to you, take a minute to think about it. Almost every pure-bred dog has a registration certificate. On that certificate is a date of birth. That makes it easy to prove the dog’s age to Guinness officials.
Mixed-breed dogs, however, usually don’t have a registration certificate. That lack of written proof is what usually costs mixed-breed dogs the title. For some people who buy or acquire a mixed breed dog as a puppy, there are veterinary records that can be used in lieu of a registration certificate. In that case, the Guinness officials usually use the date of the puppy’s first checkup as a pseudo-birthday. From that day to the current day, if the dog is older than the oldest dog for a specific record, Guinness has the authority to give the mixed-breed dog the record.
Unfortunately, for some dog owners trying to prove that their dog deserves an oldest dog record, there just isn’t the proof required to do so. Such is the case for Bella, a Labrador retriever mix. Her owners claim that she is 29 years old, but they just don’t have the proof to back up that claim.
Pure-Bred Dogs Versus Mixed-Breed Dogs
With most of the shortlist comprised of mixed-breed dogs, you may be wondering exactly why mixed breeds live longer than pure-bred dogs. The answer to that is actually very simple. When breeders breed pure-bred dogs, the two dogs usually have some ancestors in common. Some of these are very far back in the pedigree, but they are there. This makes the two dogs inbred. This type of ‘selective breeding’ actually weakens the offspring’s immune system and can lead to genetic defects and health issues. In mixed-breed dogs, there usually isn’t any common factor in the pedigree. This out-crossing actually makes the offspring stronger than the parents from a medical perspective given that the offspring get the best of what the dame and the sire bring to the breeding. So, mixed breeds are usually healthier and don’t require a lot of the costly medical care that pedigreed dogs do.
The bottom line when you start thinking about the oldest dog titles is that all dogs can live a very long time. Because of this, you have to make sure that you are committed to caring for a dog for many years to come before you head out to the local shelter to pick up a puppy or an adult dog.