<h3>A Very Exclusive Pooch</h3>
How much would you pay for the dog of your dreams? $100? $500? How about $600… thousand? It may sound insane in the membrane, but a rare dog breed called the Tibetan mastiff is collecting those kinds of kingly sums in China. What’s with the crazy prices? “The Today Show” profiled the nation’s love of the pooches, and inspired a slew of Web searches along the way.
For those who prefer mutts to purebreds, here’s a quick explanation of the newest “it” dog. The Tibetan mastiff is a large, fluffy canine that weighs between 100 and 200 pounds when fully grown. It’s family friendly and makes a nice watchdog due to its protective nature. There is no doubt about itÂ â€” the dogs are beautiful. They look like a cross between a lion and a small bear. But come onÂ â€” no dog is worth more than a four-bedroom home. Right?
Extreme grooming: Dogs that look like panda bears, camels
Well, maybe, maybe not. “The Today Show” explains that the Tibetan mastiff is believed by many in China to be a kind of holy dog. The breed “is considered the guardian dog of the former Himalayan kingdom of Tibet and reputed to be the original source of many large dog breeds today.” Most often, the buyers of these precious dogs are millionaires (who else could afford it?). Some speculate that the buyers get the dogs as a status symbol. Others contend that the dogs are just so great that they’re worth the cost.
Following the morning show’s segment, online lookups on “tibetan mastiff” and “tibetan mastiff pictures” both roared to life. Their 2,343% surge made the breed one of the most searched-for pups on Yahoo!, even surpassing the first family’s favorite, the Portuguese Waterdog.
You can watch the “Today Show” segment below. But bewareÂ â€” it may inspire you to take out a second mortgage and max out your credit cards. But that’s only if you’re in China. If you’re in the United States, you can probably find a Tibetan mastiff for between $800 and $3,500 (about the same as most purebreds).