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A Puppy Sells for $1.5 Million - Dollars for Dogs - How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

Updated on May 27, 2011

The Highest Price Ever Paid for a Dog

What is the most expensive breed of dog?

An 11 month old puppy that weighs 180 pounds just sold for $1.5 million. The dog is a red Tibetan mastiff, and was sold to a Chinese a multimillionaire businessman, a coal baron from Northern China. The dog’s name is Hong Dong, which means Big Splash. This canines is now the most expensive dog in the entire world. Buddha, Queen Victoria and King George IV, king Edward VIi, owned this breed of dog also.

The breeder of the dog, Lu Liang from Laoshan, China never thought a dog would be sold for such a high price, when they started in the breeding business 10 years ago. The breeder justifies the price because of the considerable money they spent on staff salaries caring and raising Big Splash. Big Splash’s diet consists of beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber.

Big Splash - The Most Expensive Dog in the World

Tibetan Mastiff puppy sold for $1.5 million
Tibetan Mastiff puppy sold for $1.5 million

Tibetan Mastiffs Are an Ancient Breed

Red is considered lucky in China. The Tibetan Mastiff is considered a holy animal and is believed to bring the owner health and good luck.

In Tibet, they believe these Mastiffs hold the souls of nuns and monks who did get reincarnated as humans.  

Tibetan Mastiffs are an ancient dog breed, descended from the dogs kept by Chinese nomadic tribes.These dogs can be traced back to the time of Marco Polo.  They are intelligent and make excellent guard dogs. They are huge dogs, at 180 pounds and 11 months old, Big Splash is still growing. He is considered a perfect breed specimen.  In all liklihood, the new owner will be able to profit from his investment by charging other breeders up to $15,000 in stud fees.

Tibetan Mastiffs have become a status symbol among the very wealthy Chinese in recent years.  For many years, Tibetan Mastiffs have held the record for highest price dog.  In 2009, a mastiff was sold to a Chinese woman for over half a million dollars. The dog’s name is Yangzte No.2. In 2010, another mastiff was sold for nearly $1.47 million, named Red Lion.

Tibetan Mastiffs Come in Many Colors

Tibetan Mastiffs Were Used in Ancient Wars to Conquer the World

Tibetan mastiffs live to about the age of 14. They are fairly free of inherited health problems. They usually only have one litter a year. The heaviest Tibetan mastiff weighed 286 pounds.  The American Kennel Club categorizes Tibetan Mastiffs in the working group of dogs. They became recognized by the AKC in 2006, but Tibetan mastiffs are a rare breed in the United States.  As of 2010, the breed ranked 124 out of 167 in popularity.  Tibetan mastiffs were mountain dogs in the Himalayas and  hills of Tibet.  From these dogs, many other working breeds developed.  The earliest information about this breed goes back to about 1100 B.C. in China. Artifacts and skulls of large dogs resembling mastiffs can be dated to the time about the stone and bronze ages.  Mastiffs were believed to be used in many ancient wars involving the Persians, Greeks, Assyrians, Romans and Attilla the Hun. Genghis Khan, according to history, took 30,000 Tibetan mastiffs to help conquer Western Europe. Tibetan mastiffs nearly became extinct in the 1800’s, but were saved by British breeders. Tibetan mastiffs have always been highly valued animals by the Tibetan people.  In Tibet, they are rare animals today, but if they are found, they are used to guard livestock roaming among the mountainside.  Their job is to protect the yak and sheep, and protect their masters agains predators snow leopards and wolves.

Tibetan Mastiffs are Loyal and Intelligent

Prior to the beginning of the 1800’s the Western world was not allowed in Tibet.  Little was known about these mastiffs.

In 1847, Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, gifted Queen Victoria of England with a Tibetan  mastiff named Siring.  In 1873, the Kennel Club in England began listing over 4,000 breeds of dogs and the large dog of Tibet was officially called the Tibetan Mastiff.

By the next year, in 1874, the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VII of England brought 2 more Tibetan mastiffs to England.
In 1931, the Tibetan Breeds Association in England was formed and official standards for the breed were designated.  In the latter part of the 1950’s, 2 Tibetan mastiffs were sent to the President of the United States.  The dogs were taken to a farm in the midwest and no one heard anything about them.  In 1970, a few Tibetan mastiffs were imported into the United States from Nepal and India.  From these the breed began to develop in the U.S. The magnificient breed is loyal, gentle, patient, fearless, and strong pet. They are vigilant over strangers and very protective of their family and territory.

Tibetan mastiffs

Red Tibetan Mastiffs are Status Symbols in China

The Tibetan mastiff is a large and impressive dog. They are muscular, big boned, and well built powerful dogs. Their head is broad, square like, and big, with deep set, almond shaped eyes. Their eyes are brown, and are very expressive. They have a full tail, a heavy coat and thick mane with a wooly undercoat.

The most common colors are brown, black gray , with or without lighter tan or shades of gold markings. Red Tibetan mastiffs are quite rare.

Tibetan mastiffs are beautiful animals, they have a wonderful disposition no matter what color their fur. Dogs should not be looked at as status symbols. They are wonderful animals, and my hope is, no matter what price a person pays for their pet,that first and foremost they are treated with respect, love and well cared for. I don't want my dogs as status symbols. They are priceless to me.


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