The golden-haired pup was purchased by a property developer at a luxury pet expo in the eastern province of Zhejiang. According to the Qianjiang Evening News, the buyer, an aspiring dog breeder paid “12 million yuan, equivalent to $1.9 million.
“They have lion’s blood and are top-of-the-range Mastiff studs,” breeder Zhang Gengyun told papers. They could be compared to “nationally treasured pandas.”
While Gengyun was likely referring not to the dogs noble and good bloodlines, not actual lions, there is no doubt that the breed has a lion like appearance. So much so that in 2013 a zoo in China tried to pass a Tibetan Mastiff off as an actual lion. The charade ended quickly when the “lion” barked.
According to Gengyun, the dog weighed in at nearly 200 pounds. We did the math on this one and found that this big boy came in at just under $10,000 a pound. More value than a $2 million Yorkie, that’s for sure.
Tibetan Mastiffs have become a status symbol among China’s growing wealthy classes for the last several years. In 2011, NBC reported that an 11-month old puppy named “Big Splash” was the most expensive dog sold at the time for $1.5 million.
Regarded as the forerunner of many mastiff breeds, the Tibetan Mastiff has been around for many centuries. In the 13th century when Marco Polo was touring the Far East, he claimed to have seen native mastiffs as large as donkeys. This claim is not farfetched. The Tibetan Mastiff approaches the Saint Bernard in size measuring at 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder. This breed hails from the Himalayan foothills and is still used today to guard family and property.
Who should own a Tibetan Mastiff?
Terrific for a person who:
- Knows how to creatively channel headstrong dog behavior.
- Feels confident controlling a serious guarding breed.
- Prefers a dog who is independent.
Think twice if you’re a person who:
- Expects their dog to follow him around with admiration.
- Has people regularly dropping in for visits
- Is looking for a dog to compete in dog sports.