How much did you purchase your dog for? America’s most popular breed, the Labrador Retriever, sells anywhere from $700 to $1200 for a purebred pup. Similarly, German Shepherds go for around $300 to $900. Now this may seem pricey, but in other countries, some dogs sell for more than the cost of your house. In China, one breed in particular gained huge popularity which has ironically led to it’s demise.
The Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff, also known as the lion dog, is an ancient dog breed originating from Central Asia. This is a massive dog weighing in around 140 to 170 pounds and sporting a luxuriously long coat that contributes to it’s lion-like appearance. In China, this breed boomed in recent years and became a status symbol for the wealthy. Owning this dog was viewed as stylish while also paying homage to China’s cultural heritage.
In 2011, an eleven-month-old Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash, made headlines for being sold for a staggering $1.5 million dollars. Sales like this caused a surge in the breeding of these dogs in an effort to get rich quick for many want-to-be breeders. Unfortunately like all fads, the Tibetan Mastiff craze has ended in China and owning this breed seems now “so last year.” However, many breeders are now stuck with many unwanted dogs and are struggling to break even. Some breeders have resorted to getting rid of their dogs by selling them to slaughter houses to be made into leather. The breed that once sold for millions is now being sold for around $5 to $15 a head to the butcher. The world’s most expensive dogs are now being thrown away like used tissues. Buying into popular trends has garnered some severe consequences for the Tibetan Mastiffs. Hopefully someday, this majestic breed will be able to regain its some of it’s past glory and be seen only only as a pet and not the lining for winter gloves.