We pet owners love our golden oldies. Dogs usually can live to between 8 and 15 years, depending on their breed and general health. Remember, for pets, the quality of their years is more important than the quantity. 15 years is a very good age for most dogs to attain. Owners of older dogs should feel proud if their pets have lived happy lives to this ripe old age. But some dogs seem to go the extra mile: they just keep going and going, often still in excellent health, well past the normal canine lifespan. Let’s have a look at some of the oldest dogs in the world.
The oldest dogs, Europe
There have been many long-lived European dogs, many of which hail from Great Britain. Otto Jones, a Dachshund/Terrier cross from England, was born in 1989 and died in 2010. His owners had owned him since he was a six week old puppy. As an old dog, Otto was a little arthritic and deaf, but still liked to play with children on the street. The Jones family thought that Otto’s good health was due to a good wholesome diet, regular check-ups at the vet, and lots of love.
Adjutant was another long lived English dog. Adjutant, a black Labrador, was born in 1936, and worked as a gamekeeper’s dog with his owner James Hawkes. He lived to an impressive 27 years. Bramble the Collie, a rescue dog belonging to Anne Heritage, was a more recent golden oldie. She died in 2003 in Somerset, at 28 years old. Her owner thought that good exercise and a healthy diet, which included lentils and organic vegetables, was the secret to Bramble’s longevity.
Other elderly European dogs include Piccolo, a crossbred dog from Farra d’Alpago in Italy. He was born in 1987 and lived for a striking 23 years. Sotirakis, a Greek dog born in 1993 who was 20 years old when he died.
The oldest dogs, the Americas
Butch, a Beagle from the USA, is certified as one of the oldest dogs in the world. He was born in 1975, and only died in 2003 when he was 28. Another American record holder was Chanel, a Dachshund from Virginia. Her owner, Mrs Shaugnessy, a single mother serving in the US Army, came across the little dog in a Virginian dog shelter and adopted her. Chanel remained with Mrs Shaugnessy all her life.
In her old age, Chanel was pampered, with tinted goggles for her cataract-affected eyes, sweaters to keep her warm, and a stroller for her to ride in. Chanel died when she was 21 years old in August 2009, a few months after she had been presented with a certificate by the Guinness Book of World Records at a special doggy birthday party.
The oldest dogs, Asia
Asia’s oldest dog is Pusuke from the Tochigi prefecture in Japan. Pusuke was a Shiba Inu crossbreed, born in 1985, who lived with the Shinohara family in Sakura, Japan. In 2010, the Guinness Book of World Records gave Pusuke the title of oldest dog in the world. The Shinohara family said that Pusuke remained healthy even in his old age, going with them on daily walks and eating plenty until a few days before his death, when he lost his appetite and had difficulty breathing. He was 26 years old when he died in his family’s home in 2011.
The oldest dogs, Australia
Two of the oldest dogs in the world came from Australia: Maggie and Bluey. Maggie was an Australian Kelpie, born in 1986, who lived on owner Brian McLaren’s dairy farm since she was a little puppy. She died almost 30 years later in April 2016. Maggie was a herding dog, and rounded up the farm cattle (and occasionally enjoyed some of their milk!), and, while not a pampered pooch, was loved and well looked after. Kelpies tend to be very healthy dogs, perhaps because their ancestors include the wild Australian Dingos: any animal that can survive in the Australian outback has got to be hardy.
Mr McLaren unfortunately did not have the correct paperwork to prove Maggie’s age, so she isn’t officially the world’s oldest dog. That honour goes to Bluey, a dog born in 1910 in the town of Rochester, in Victoria, Australia. Bluey was an Australian Cattle Dog who spent a good 20 years rounding up sheep and cattle. He died in 1939, at the incredible age of 29 years, 5 months. Australian Cattle Dogs are remarkably healthy, which is probably linked to their origin as a working dog, bred to work in the harsh Australian outback – but even for a dog of this breed, Bluey lived to an extraordinary age.