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The prized red Tibetan mastiff, thought to be one of the world’s oldest and most venerable breeds, is now the most expensive. Legend suggests that Genghis Khan and the Buddha owned the large, fluffy breed. And now, an 11-month old puppy was recently purchased for $1.5 million, making it the most expensive dog every sold.
The 3-foot-tall, 180-pound dog named, “Big Splash” or “Hong Dong” in Chinese was sold in the Chinese city of Qingdao. Tibetan mastiffs are believed to have guarded nomad camps and monasteries, and are rarely seen outside of Tibet. Over the past several years, they have become status symbols among China’s growing wealthy classes, driving up their price from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands, according to the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper.
But even among the top class of canines, Big Splash is unique. Raised on a diet of beef, chicken, abalone and sea cucumber, “he is a perfect specimen,” his breeder, identified only as Mr. Lou, told the British newspaper. “He has excellent genes and will be a good breeding dog. When I started in this business, 10 years ago, I never thought we would see such a price.”
Lou declined to identify Big Splash’s new owner, other than to say that he is a multimillionaire who made his fortune in coal. And given the rising popularity of the breed, it may be that the owner can make some of his investment back by offering the dog’s services at stud. Some breeders are willing to pay as much as $100,000 to get a dipper out of Big Splash’s gene pool.
There are thousands of dog and puppies available for adoption and waiting to go to a good home at shelters all across the United States. Look on www.petfinder.com to find your new best friend and save your millions for something else.