A red Tibetan Mastiff puppy became the world’s most expensive dog after his owner paid $1.5 million (U.S.) dollars for him.
The prized 11 month-old puppy, now named Big Splash (Hong Dong in Chinese) was sold to an unidentified man in the Chinese city of Qingdao who is believed to be a multi-millionaire coal baron.
Standing at 3-foot-tall and weighing 180 pounds, Big Splash’s breeder said, “He is a perfect specimen.”
Tibetan Mastiffs are thought to be one of the world’s oldest breeds. Both Genghis Khan and Buddha are believed to have kept them.
They look like enormous balls of fluffy fur, but throughout history Tibetan Mastiffs have been fierce guard dogs. Today they still stand guard at monasteries.
An NPR interview revealed the dogs’ fierce reputation is part of the allure that has made the breed popular with wealthy businessmen in China. Tibetan Mastiff’s are comparable to the macho image of Pit bulls in the U.S.
The Telegraph said they are also revered because the dogs are thought to be “a pure Chinese breed and they are rarely found outside Tibet, giving them an exclusivity that other breeds cannot match.”
China Daily attributed the dogs’ status to their color because red is considered to be a lucky in China and Mastiff’s in particular are considered “holy animals that endow their owners with good health and security.”
And with all of these distinctions to the breed, Big Splash apparently stands above other Tibetan Mastiffs. Mr. Lu the breeder said, “He has excellent genes and will be a good breeding dog.”
Everything about Big Splash seems to be special, even his diet which consists of beef, chicken, abalone and sea cucumber.
Mr. Lu said this about the millionaire who bought Big Splash, “I could see he loved the puppy, or I would not have sold him. 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.”
Whatever the reasons are for the purchase of Big Splash, is there a moral issue that needs to be considered in placing such a high value on one breed – especially when millions of dogs are euthanized each year because there aren’t enough homes for them?
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