Otto: Longest human tunnel travelled through by a skateboarding dog
No one could have anticipated the unprecedented popularity of Otto the skateboarding Bulldog, a Peruvian pooch who propelled himself into the record books while celebrating Guinness World Records Day 2015.
Since the inception of the Guinness World Records book back in 1955, kids and adults from all over the globe have loved finding out about our planet’s most amazing animals.
From Himmy, who was recognised back in 1986 as the fattest cat in the world (a title Guinness World Records no longer monitors), to Medusa, who earned fame in 2011 as the Longest snake ever in captivity, record-breaking animals rarely fail to capture the interest of the public.
Otto the skateboarding bulldog
In his home town of Lima, Peru, Otto glided through the legs of 30 people, setting a record for the longest human tunnel travelled through by a skateboarding dog, gliding through the legs of 30 people.
As required by Guinness World Records, each person creating the tunnel stood facing the same direction and with their feet apart to allow the talented English Bulldog to pass freely underneath without being led or touched in any way.
A huge crowd gathered to watch and the three-year-old dog became an instant celebrity, as videos of the achievement were viewed by millions of people and news outlets all over the world.
#TBT When I met my family for the first time! #puppydays@OttoSkaterpic.twitter.com/F4ZdJ17qqU— OttoBulldogSkater (@OttoSkater) May 26, 2016
Otto’s journey first began when his owners-to-be Luciana Viale and Robert Rickards saw the renowned videos of Tillman, the former fastest dog on a skateboard who sadly passed away in 2015.
They saw Tillman’s talent and were inspired to get a Bulldog of their own.
It wasn’t long before the adorable puppy was performing all kinds of tricks, surfing, playing football and, of course, skating.
One day, when Luciana and Otto were playing together, she saw her dog skateboarding towards her so fast that she had to open her legs for him to speed through without hitting her.
This is how Luciana first conjured up the idea to attempt the human tunnel record.
Interestingly, Otto is not the only skateboarding Bulldog in his family – he also lives with his best friend Lola, and they do everything together.
Luciana and Robert told Guinness World Records they are incredibly grateful for all the wonderful friends they have made through their extraordinary Otto.
Happy #Monday! Starting the week strong and enjoying the nice weather with Lola @OttoSkater#Bulldogspic.twitter.com/0AxzH2YYPS— OttoBulldogSkater (@OttoSkater) May 2, 2016
In fact, Otto has made quite a few friends of his own since his record-breaking triumph, boasting a Facebook page that has amassed over 80,000 likes.
In December 2015, as a result of his Guinness World Records attempt, Otto was even nominated for the World Dog Awards in the 'Hot Dog' of the year category.
Peruvian news site El Comercio caught up with Luciana in January 2016: "We never thought all this would happen," she said.
She explains that Otto’s skateboarding skills developed naturally – he never saw anyone skating and he was never given incentives like food.
What has Otto been doing since?
Since becoming a Guinness World Records title holder, Otto has used his talent and worldwide fame to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership and support organisations that promote adopting homeless animals.
Otto has also got involved with charities that support disadvantaged people and visited children with cancer, and continues to impress people with his amazing record-breaking talents.
He has also recently featured in an advert for a Swiss high-visibility clothing brand, in which he shows off his skills on a skateboard with glowing wheels.