Tibetan Mastiffs: Dogs That Fetch $600,000 in China

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© Wang Haofei/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Meet the Tibetan mastiff. This breed can measure up to three feet tall and weigh up to 180 pounds. And in China, these dogs are all the rage.

The pups are considered holy — legend dubbed them the guardian dogs of Tibet. Their presence is said to help humans’ health and security. But mostly, they seem to be a status symbol for Chinese millionaires, according to a report on The Today Show. (See pictures from behind the scenes at the Westminster dog show.)

One couple said they forked over $600,000 for their mastiff, named Yangtze River Number Two, and transported him to their home via a fleet of Mercedes sedans. Their dog was worth the price, they said, because of his pure bloodline, which is extremely rare.  (Wonder how Yangtze River Number Two would look with multicolor fur.)

After all the money spent, these dogs may not have the qualities to be a perfect pet. Though loyal to their owners, they can be vicious to strangers — and all that hair must shed like crazy. Plus, they’re used to breathing at high altitudes, which is a problem for those living at sea-level locations in China.

For more Tibetan mastiffs, check out the full Today Show report below. And then see how smart your own dog can be.

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