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Tibetan Mastiff sold for USD two million

December 26, 2010

K J M Varma

Beijing, Dec 22 (PTI) The Chinese people''s fascination with Tibet''s
most enduring symbol -- Mastiff dog -- has touched a new high as a local
businessman bought a puppy of the ancient breed for a whopping USD two
million, the highest ever price for one.

The Mastiff puppy, which is less than one-year old, was bought by a
buyer from Dalian in China''s Liaoning province, state-run ''People''s
Daily'' said in a brief report.

It fetched the heavy price of USD two million (16 million yuan) as it
was rated as the "best quality" purebred, the report said.

The popularity of Tibetan Mastiff, considered the most ancient and
rarest canine animal reared in the extreme cold zones in Qinghai-Tibet
Plateau, is growing, especially among the wealthy Chinese.

The dog with heavy fluffy hair was being used as a guardian of herds,
flocks and monasteries and palaces. It was currently listed as one of
the famous breeds.

As it is fetching heavy sums, the breeders have gone high-tech
advertising the dogs over internet through well-made videos.

Last month, a black Mastiff hit the global headlines when a Chinese dog
enthusiast bought the mountain dog for three million Yuan (USD 4.50 lakh).

The buyer identified by the same newspaper as Jing from Hebei created a
buzz in the media here by arranging a big red carpet welcome for the dog
when it arrived at the local railway station from Tibetan Qinghai
province. The dog was taken to its home in a big convoy of luxury cars.

Dogs in general considered a delicacy in China in the past are fast
becoming part of the milieu of both wealthy and middle class families in
the country.

Their popularity has gone to such an extent that Shanghai, China''s
biggest city, has come up with a "one dog policy", stipulating that
families are permitted to have only one dog.

Beijing itself alone has about nine lakh registered pet dogs.

Recognising the fast spreading love for dogs, the Chinese government
brought about elaborate rules permitting certain breads of dogs with
specific height and length in residential flats in the cities.
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