Chinese coal magnate pays R10,7 million for a dog

2011-03-19 00:00

AN 11-MONTH-OLD Red Tibetan Mastiff puppy, called Big Splash, or Hong Dong in Chinese, has become the world’s most expensive dog after being sold for almost £1 million.

These dogs, among the world’s oldest breeds, are huge and fierce guard dogs with both Genghis Khan and Lord Buddha supposed to have kept them. Nowadays they are status symbols for China’s new rich.

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. Big Splash’s buyer, who paid £945 000 (R10,7 million), is a multi-millionaire coal baron from the north of China.

Big Splash stands nearly a metre high at the shoulder and weighs more than 80kg. His new owner aims to recoup his investment by charging a stud fee of about R106 000 for each, well, splash.

When his breeder, Lu Liang started the Tibetan Mastiff Garden in Laoshan in 2006, he sold puppies for about 5 000 yuan. Since then, another Tibetan Mastiff named Yangtze River Number Two sold for R4,2 million in 2009.

Yangtze River Number Two was chauffeured to its new home in Xi’an by a motorcade of 30 black limousines.

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