Pretty soon you’re gonna meet my newest K9 reporter, Ella, who, like most of her co-workers here at TJ.LA, was sprung from a dog pound for about 100 bucks. It’s really a good thing none of my reporters’ dogparents were interested in a purebred Tibetan Mastiff. Know why? In China, one of those pooches costs $600,000!
Nope, that’s not a typo. I saw on MSNBC that Cai Li and his wife, who live in Xi’an, paid $600,000 last November for a purebred Tibetan Mastiff that they named Yangtze River Number Two. They even “organized a fleet of 20 Mercedes-Benzes to bring the slobbery black-haired beast home,” MSNBC reports. (OMD, like one car wasn’t enough?!)
“I like Tibetan Mastiffs, because they’re really loyal to owners and they’re ferocious,” said Cai. When the reporter visited him, Yangtze River Number Two was kept in a cage, as were Cai’s 40 other Mastiffs. Hmm, something about these living conditions stinks like Number Two to me, and I’m not talking about Yangtze River, BOL!
In China, Tibetan Mastiffs are thought to be very holy, and bring blessings of good health and security. These pooches are no lap dogs – they’re about 2 to 3 feet tall and can weigh from 150 to 200 pounds. They were first domesticated 6,000 years ago in Tibet. The Sunday Times says they’re considered the oldest, biggest and fiercest domestic dog in the world. Marco Polo, the explorer (not to mention inspiration for that annoying swimming pool game played by young humans), described the breed as being “as tall as a donkey and with a voice like a lion.” (Yikes.)
Yangtze cost so much because of his pure bloodlines. “With their overwhelming popularity and the high prices they fetch, it’s increasingly rare to find a purebred Tibetan Mastiff,” MSNBC reports. The Sunday Times said it’s both the most expensive and rarest dog in the world, since only 100 purebred Tibetan Mastiffs are believed to exist. The price tag for the breed goes up about 500 percent each year. Even dogs whose bloodlines aren’t so pure still cost a huge chunk of change – from $10,000 to more than $100,000.
It’s said that Chinese millionaires like to own the dogs because they make them feel powerful and confident. I feel really bad for these humans if they need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on one dog to feel good about themselves. Wouldn’t spending the same amount to save hundreds of thousands of shelter dogs make them feel even better?