London, Mar 16 (ANI): A red Tibetan mastiff has become the world's most expensive dog after it was sold for 10 million Chinese yuan, or 945,000 pounds.
The dog, named Big Splash, or Hong Dong in Chinese, was bought by a coal baron from the north of China.
And the hefty price tag does not include Big Splash's food, which comprises of enough chicken and beef to fill a growing 180lb dog, along with Chinese delicacies such as sea cucumber and abalone.
According to breeder Lu Liang, Big Splash is a "perfect specimen" and the extravagant price for the 11-month-old is completely justified.
"We have spent a lot of money raising this dog, and we have the salaries of plenty of staff to pay," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
He added that the new owner could charge almost 10,000 pounds a time for Big Splash to breed with a female.
His owner will need a big house too, as adult Tibetan mastiffs have been known to weigh as much as 286lb - the same as a sizeable rugby player.
The high price paid for the dog is a sign that the red Tibetan mastiff has become a status symbol in China, as the animal is thought not only to be holy, but also a blessing to their owners' health and security.
Tibetans believe the dogs have the souls of monks and nuns who were not good enough to be reincarnated as humans or into Shambhala, the heavenly realm.
These days there are only around 300 Tibetan mastiffs in the UK, and puppies sell for a more reasonable 850 pounds to 1,000 pounds.
"They are very smart and they think for themselves and can sense danger very acutely," James Pally, a Tibetan mastiff breeder from Pantymwyn near Mold in Flintshire, North Wales, said.
"Tibetan mastiffs were originally used to guard the livestock and they are very good with other animals and they love children.
"I have six of them and if you don't give them enough attention they sit in front of the TV," he added. (ANI)