A Tibetan mastiff was sold for $1.9 million to a Chinese businessman during a Zhejiang pet expo. The expo displayed and sold numerous animals, which are considered "luxury pets." Zhang Gengyun, a breeder, said Tibetan mastiffs "have lion's blood" and are considered "top-of the range" dogs.
Although the purchaser's identity was not revealed, Gengyun said the breed is considered a "status symbol." The expensive mastiff, which was not named, is fully grown and weighs around 200 pounds. A similar dog was sold during the same event for $968,209.
The prior record was a red mastiff, which sold for $1.5 million in 2011. Gengyun said "pure Tibetan mastiffs are very rare, so the prices are so high." Gengyun did not identify the purchaser. However, he is described as a "property developer from Qingdao." The 56-year-old man reportedly plans to use the dog as a stud.
Despite Grngyun's claims, an industry insider identified as "Xu" said the prices may not be accurate. As reported by the New York Post, breeders often create hype. Although "no money actually changes hands," the claims may increase the breed's overall worth.
Tibetan mastiffs are sought for their interesting history and beautiful, yet intimidating, appearance. However, specialists warn against impulse buying. The large dogs were bread to guard. They are intelligent and generally independent. Despite their independent streak, they require a personal and interactive relationship with their owner.
The dogs require socialization to maintain an even temper.They also require mental and physical stimulation. They are very sensitive to changes in their environment and the seasons. Their most challenging behaviors can include aggression, escaping, destruction of property, and incessant barking.
As reported by Tibetan Mastiff Info, with proper care, the large dogs will be "generally tolerant of children and other pets." However, their interactions should be supervised at all times.
Although the $1.9 million Tibetan mastiff was close to 200 pounds, the breed rarely weighs more than 150 pounds.
Considered an "ancient breed," the large dogs have a rich history, which is documented in books, paintings, and folklore. The earliest reference to the guardian dogs was discovered in text written around 1100 BC.
According to legend, the massive dogs accompanied Assyrian, Greek, Persian, and Roman troops in battle. They are also believed to have accompanied nomadic hunting parties in Central Asia and Tibet.
The Tibetan Mastiff became eligible for AKC registration in 2006. Although they are notoriously difficult to keep as a pet, they are considered a luxury. Many purchasers, who spend hundreds of thousands on the revered dogs, buy them for breeding purposes.
[Image via Bing]