Most expensive dog: Red Tibetan Mastiff "Big Splash" sets world record (Video)
BEIJING, China -- An 11-month-old red Tibetan Mastiff nammed Hong Dong (translation: "Big Splash") was bought by a coal baron from the north of China for $1.6 million -
setting the new world record for the Most expensive dog.
Photo: Big Splash, the world's most expensive dog. A very, very rich man in China just bought the Tibetan Mastiff for more than $1.5-million. (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for the Most expensive dog was set by an 18-month-old Tibetan Mastiff called Yangtze River Number Two, who was sold for £352,000 ($563,000) in Yushu, Qinghai, China.
Guinness World Records also recognized The largest simultaneous dog stay, which involved 627 dogs at an event called "Super Sit" organized by the RSPCA at the Wag and Bone Show, Windsor Great Park (UK).
While specifics of the sale were kept confidential, the dog's seller said it was a multimillionaire coal baron from northern China who bought the red-haired rover named Hong Dong - or Big Splash, the New York Post reported.
"When I started in this business 10 years ago, I never thought we would see such a price," breeder Lu Liang, owner of the Tibetan Mastiff Garden in Laoshan, told UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
"We have spent a lot of money raising this dog, and we have the salaries of plenty of staff to pay."
Big Splash is 11 months old and weighs more than 180 lbs. thanks to a diet of "chicken and beef, spiced up with exotic Chinese delicacies such as sea cucumber and abalone," the Telegraph said.
Tibetan mastiffs are an ancient breed, long revered as skilled guard dogs - and they are huge. It is thought the Tibetan Mastiff genetically diverged from the wolf 58,000 years ago.
At 81kg and still growing, Big Splash is considered "a perfect specimen," said Mr Liang, who believes the buyer might be able to recoup his investment in just a few years by charging other breeders stud fees of as much as $15,000 each.
Not only is red considered a lucky colour in China, but Tibetan mastiffs are thought to be holy animals, blessing their owners health and security.
The Tibetan mastiff became part of the American Kennel Club's Working group in 2006, but even after receiving official AKC recognition, the breed remains relatively rare in the U.S.
It ranked 124th out of 167 on the AKC's list of most popular breeds, determined by registration statistics, in 2010. Related world records: Fastest Skateboarding Dog: Tillman the bulldog