One million pound red Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiffs also known as Do-khyi, huge and fierce guard dogs that have stood watch over nomad camps and monasteries on the Tibetan plateau for centuries, are thought to be one of the world’s oldest breeds, and legend has it that both Genghis Khan and Lord Buddha kept them.
Recently, however, they have becomehighly-prized status symbols for China’s new rich. Not only is red considered a lucky colour, but Tibetan mastiffs are thought to be holy animals, blessing their owners’ health and security.
The dogs are thought to be a pure “Chinese” breed and they are rarely found outside Tibet, giving them an exclusivity that other breeds cannot match.
Big Splash (“Hong Dong” in Chinese) a red 11 months old puppy of nearly 3 ft. high and weighing over 180lbs, has been sold by his breeder, Lu Liang, to a multi-millionaire coal baron from the north of China, for 10 million yuan (945 000 £).
The world’s most expensive dog was given a diet of chicken and beef, done with exotic Chinese delicacies like abalone and sea cucumber.
“He is a perfect specimen,” said Mr Lu, who runs the Tibetan Mastiff Garden in Laoshan, near the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao. “He has excellent genes and will be a good breeding dog. When I started in this business, ten years ago, I never thought we would see such a price.”
About the happy new owner of Hong Dong, he says.
“I could see he loved the puppy, or I would not have sold him,” he added. “The buyer told me he thought he was a good investment. As a male dog, he can be hired out to other breeders for as much as 100 000 yuan a shot. He could recoup his money in just a couple of years.”
Apparently, prices have risen from around 5 000 yuan for a Tibetan Mastiff puppy five years ago to the hundreds of thousands and even millions.