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"Big Splash," a Tibetan Mastiff who sold for an astronomical sum

Molosser Moment #3

Tibetan Mastiffs bring in the bucks

Never mind blue-chip stocks: Several years ago, the way to make a fortune seemed to be by breeding Tibetan Mastiffs, as the breed’s status-symbol stature in China spurred an almost comical one-upping of puppy price tags: In 2009, an all-black Tibetan Mastiff named Yangtze River Number Two sold for $580,000, arriving at its new home in the central city of Xi’an accompanied by a motorcade of 30 black limousines. Then in March 2011, a coal baron from northern China reportedly bought an 11-month-old red Tibetan Mastiff named “Big Splash” (above) for just over $1.5 million. Soon after came the reports that two yearling littermates had sold to a property developer for a whopping $3 million.  

Cynics maintain that the Tibetan Mastiff boom was the invention of clever Chinese breeders, who generated lots of hype but didn’t actually exchange any cash. Today, it appears to be a moot point: As the breed’s nouveau-riche appeal has abated, the stratospheric price tags have, too.



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