A Tibetan mastiff dog was sold for nearly $2 million in China this week in what may be the sale of the world's most expensive dog.
According to Agence France-Presse, the transaction took place at a "luxury pet" fair
in the eastern province of Zhejiang. The 1-year-old golden-haired mastiff was bought by a 56-year-old property developer from Qingdao who paid 12 million yuan ($1.9 million) for the pup and plans to breed dogs himself.
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At 31.5 inches tall and nearly 200 pounds, the unnamed dog was not the first breeder Zhang Gengyun has sold.
In 2011, a red mastiff named "Big Splash" sold for 10 million yuan ($1.5 million), then the most expensive dog sale ever recorded.
"They have lion's blood and are top-of-the-range mastiff studs," Gengyun told a Chinese newspaper, AFP reported. "Pure Tibetan mastiffs are very rare, just like our nationally treasured pandas, so the prices are so high."
The Qianjiang Evening News reported that another breeder said he sold a mastiff for 27 million yuan in Beijing last year.
Industry insiders say the sales may be mere hype, orchestrated to inflate the price of their breed. The source told the Evening News that there's no way to know if real money actually changed hands. Some speculate that at prices as high as these, a dog sale might not be the only transaction taking place.
An ancient breed, the Tibetan mastiff was traditionally found from Tibet to Nepal, and served as guard dogs.
Twitter cottoned on to the news of the sale with glee, posting pictures and pleas for pups of their own:
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