Friday, July 29, 2011

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff
This past March, a red Tibetan Mastiff was purchased for 10,000,000 Chinese Yuan, which is equivalent to about $1.5million dollars! Hong Dong, who was bought by a Chinese coal baron, is one of the most expensive dog in the entire world! But what is it that made that dog so valuable, especially when specimens of the breed typically sell  for far, far less in the western world?

Tibetan Mastiffs are a very old breed, and many in their native lands believe that they are holy creatures. Red is an especially lucky color, which is part of the reason for Hong Dong's extravagant asking price. (The article also states that owning these huge dogs has become a new status symbol for the wealthy elite)

When I say old breed, I mean old breed. Records of large dogs began to appear in the region over 3,000 years ago. Unfortunately, the full details of the breed's history are shrouded in mystery, as they were kept in isolation for so long. Europeans did not stumble upon the breed until the 1800s, and the first standard was adopted in the 1930s.

Tibetan Mastiffs can now be found outside of central Asia, but they remain rare. This intelligent and independent breed was, and still is, used for property and personal guardianship. Not surprising since they can weigh over 150lbs (68kg).

Status : Domesticated
Location : Originally from Central Asia
Size : Height around 28in (72cm), Weight around 160lbs (73kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Canidae -- Genus : Canis -- Species : C. lupus -- Subspecies : C. l. familiaris

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