Red Tibetan Mastiff: World's Most Expensive Dog Sells for $1.5 Million
A coal baron living in northern China just spent $1.5 million to buy what is considered the world's most expensive dog, a red Tibetan Mastiff. It's hard to know precisely where in that sentence you spurt out your mouthful of coffee: that a dog is worth that much or that there is a millionaire willing to buy one in China.
In any case, the 180-pound 11-month-old red Tibetan Mastiff known as Big Splash, or "Hong Dong" in Mandarin, just earned the title of the world's priciest pooch. The breed can grow to be 285 pounds, and according to the breeder, Big Splash is such a perfect specimen that the eyeball-popping price is justified. It is believed the breed descended from wolves 58,000 years ago.
Big Splash is a kind of cute fellow -- big and bulky, although in most photos he looks like he's having a bad hair day. The breed has become a status symbol in China, replacing cars and expensive bling as a way for the uber-rich to show off their new-found wealth. Red is considered a lucky color in Chinese culture and Tibetan Mastiffs are thought to be holy animals, bringing riches and good health to their owners, which helps explain the country's interest in the dog and the run-up in price. But given the size of most Chinese apartments and the size of these dogs, don't expect to see them bought by the masses; Tibetan Mastiffs are truly only for China's rich.
In time, Big Splash might fetch $15,000 a pop to breed with a female. Nothing like earning his keep.