An red 11-month-old Tibetan Mastiff puppy has become the world’s most expensive dog after begin sold for $1.5 million.Although the specifics of the sale are confidential, the seller divulged that a multi-millionaire coal baron from northern China purchased the Tibetan mastiff, affectionately called “Big Splash,” or “Hong Dong” in Chinese.
“When I started in this business, ten years ago, I never thought we would see such a price,” Mr. Lu of the Tibetan Mastiff Garden in Laoshan said.
Tibetan mastiffs are an ancient breed long revered as adept guard dogs. This particular Tibetan mastiff puppy is considered “a perfect specimen,” and Lu estimates that the buyer could recoup his investment in the dog in just a few years by hiring it out to other breeders for as much as 100,000 yuan each.
While Tibetan mastiffs have long been a cultural staple revered in Asia, they have increasingly taken on a more heightened role as a status symbol representing affluence in China.
With so many dogs around the world lacking homes and being euthanized in shelters as a result, is it acceptable to place such a high price on a single dog? Or should certain breeds be preserved and considered more valuable than others? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.
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“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.”
Mr Lu said Big Splash had been fed a diet of chicken and beef, spiced up with exotic Chinese delicacies such as sea cucumber and abalone.
“The price is justified,” he said. “We have spent a lot of money raising this dog, and we have the salaries of plenty of staff to pay.”
Before the sale, the world’s most expensive dog was another Tibetan Mastiff, named Yangtze River Number Two, who was sold in 2009 for four million yuan.
Upon its arrival in the central city of Xi’an, Yangtze River Number Two was chauffeured to its new home by a motorcade of 30 black limousines, prompting widespread scorn at the tastelessness of some of China’s nouveau riche.