UPDATE: World’s most expensive Red Tibetan Mastiff at 1.5million USD [IBT]
YUSHU, Tibet: It weighs up to 250 pounds. It was once described by Marco Polo as being “as tall as a donkey and with a voice of a lion”. It is regarded as ‘the fiercest dog in the world’. And you can have one for only $594,000.00.
Tibetan Mastiffs, also known as Do-khyi in Tibetan, or Bhote Kurur in Nepali, are some of the most massive dogs around. Despite their wrinkled appearance, they are intelligent, fearless and faithful, making excellent family protectors.
This rare and ancient breed of dog is a huge animal and has a double coat well-adapted to freezing temperatures and thin air. Known as “the defender of women and children” in its native land, this dog also acts as guardians of herds of yak and horses, or flocks of sheep and goats. They are ferocious enough to confront predators the size of wolves, leopards, and even an occasional bear.
While you can get an Ashera cat for $22,000, the Tibetan Mastiff is definitely the most expensive dog in the world. In fact, the Tibetan Mastiff is also among the rarest, with only 100 pure-bred animals in existence, according to www.news.com.au. This noble animal is now the latest must-have accessory for China’s wealthy elite, who are more than willing to shell out as much as 4.5 million yuan ($600,000) for a pure-bred specimen.
Tibetan Mastiffs were domesticated in the mountainous regions of Tibet some 6000 years as a flock dog, and were used as guard dogs outside the sacred city of Lhasa. They are regarded as the oldest, biggest and fiercest of domestic dogs. And their scarcity and reputation have transformed them into a status symbol for China’s nouveau rich.
In fact, many rich Chinese now visit the annual Yushu horce-racing festival (on the border between Qinghai province and Tibet) for a chance to get their hands on a pure-bred puppy or two.
The Times Online visited the festival and found several dozen of these Tibetan Mastiffs lolling around on Tibetan rugs, and shaded by beach umbrellas from the hot sun. One of these large dogs had a glossy black head and back, with a yellow-brown underbelly and paws – an “iron and gold” male, the Tibetan breeder called it. It’s price tag? 300,000 yuan – or almost $40,000.
“Chinese see these dogs as a way to show off their wealth because they are rare,” 16-year-old breeder Jiangyong Yixi told The Times. “They will attack a bear or a tiger to protect their owners herds of sheep and yaks in Tibet.”
However, it seems that you don’t need to bankrupt yourself to get yourself one of these adorable brutes. In fact, Tibetan Mastiff Info is urging people interested in Tibetan Mastiffs to adopt from the ATMA Rescue or the TMCA Rescue.
The fiercest dog in the world from the land of tranquility and spiritual harmony – just slightly ironic.
That’s a freaking rare dog breed. And one that’s behemoth.
Tibetan Mastiff May Die Out
Due to the factors of human impact and natural deterioration, Tibetan mastiffs are decreasing in number and China’s pure-blood Tibetan mastiffs are facing the danger of extinction.
Prof. Niu Feng with the School of Life Sciences of the Northwest University for Nationalities has been engaged in research on Tibetan mastiffs for many years. He said that pure-blood Tibetan mastiffs are generally 1.33 meters in length and as strong as calves. They can weigh up to over 70 kilograms with big heads and short legs. Inhabited on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau featuring high altitude and low temperature, Tibetan mastiffs are universally acknowledged as the oldest rare dog species existing in the world by now.
Tibetan mastiffs are rough, fierce, fast-running and sharp-nosed. To local residents, Tibetan mastiffs can protect their territory and food and are adept in attacks and friendly to their owners, so that they can help safeguard houses and yards and herd horses and sheep. Therefore, in Tibet’s pasture areas, Tibetan mastiffs are regarded as “sacred dogs” to guard pasture, cows and sheep by local Tibetan.
With boosting economic and social development as well as improving living standard in China, the pet market is seeing rapid growth, and Tibetan mastiffs are winning more understanding and acceptance from people. Driven by commercial profits, people crossbreed the Tibetan mastiffs with choice male parent as meat dogs, among which a great deal were purchased, transported, crossbred and butchered by humans. Pure Tibetan mastiffs are barely seen in their original birthplace currently, and natural degradation has added to their risk of extinction.
Experts indicated that the decrease in the number of pure Tibetan mastiffs has called for international attention. More and more foreign and domestic forces join hands to protect Tibetan mastiffs. People have established various types of Tibetan mastiff protection associations and carried through selected breeding and pure breeding, setting a favorable breeding foundation for the protection of this species.
That is one freaking big and fierce dog.