Beijing: A Tibetan mastiff puppy has been sold in China for almost $2 million (R12.2 crore), in what could be the most expensive dog sale ever.

Man’s best friend: A man poses with the gold-maned Tibetan mastiff pup (left) that was sold for the record price. The red pup of the same breed also sold for a whopping $968,500. Pic/AFP

A 56-year-old property developer paid 12 million yuan for the one-year-old golden-haired mastiff at a luxury pet fair
on Tuesday in the eastern province of Zhejiang, in China.

“They have lion’s blood and are top-of-the-range mastiff studs,” the dog’s breeder Zhang Gengyun was quoted as saying, adding that another red-haired canine had sold for $968,500 (Rs 6 crore).

Enormous and sometimes ferocious, with round manes lending them a passing resemblance to lions, Tibetan mastiffs have become a prized status symbol among China’s wealthy, sending prices skyrocketing.

“Pure Tibetan mastiffs are very rare, just like our nationally treasured pandas, so the prices are so high,” he said.
One red mastiff named Big Splash reportedly sold for $1.5 million (Rs 9.15 crore) to a coal baron from the north of China in 2011, in the most expensive dog sale then recorded.

Height of the Tibetan Mastiff that was sold

Weight of the canine

Owners say mastiffs, descendants of dogs used for hunting by nomadic tribes in central Asia and Tibet, are fiercely loyal and protective.