A red Tibetan Mastiff pup has entered the record books by becoming the world’s most expensive dog.
Hong Dong – or ‘Big Splash’ in English – is just under a year old but already tips the scales at over 180lbs and is three feet high from shoulder to ground. The hefty pup also sports a bright red coat.
The specifics of the sale are highly confidential, but it is reported that Big Splash’s new owner is a multi-millionaire Chinese coal baron, who forked out 10 million Yuan – the equivalent of £1 million.
Lu Liang, a dog breeder who bred the wallet-busting pup, declared that he was “a perfect specimen”. He said:
“He has excellent genes and will be a good breeding dog. When I started in this business, ten years ago, I never thought we would see such a price.”
Tibetan Mastiffs are said to be ferocious guard dogs, and have been used by nomadic tribes to protect camps and monasteries in Tibet for hundreds of years. Some experts think that they are one of the most antiquated breeds of dog in the world, and it is said that Buddha and Genghis Khan kept them.
They have enjoyed a recent resurgence to become a highly prized symbol of status, and although they are thought by many to be a purely ‘Chinese’ breed, their rarity outside of Tibet has driven prices up from 5,000 Yuan (£470) a mere five years ago.
Big Splash is already used to the high life – he has been fed a diet of beef, chicken and Chinese delicacies such as abalone and sea cucumber. Mr Lu even thinks that his new owner could make his money back within a few years by using him as a stud dog at 100,000 Yuan (£9,500) a time.
Before Big Splash’s sale, the most expensive dog in the world was also a Tibetan Mastiff.