Back in 2011, a Chinese coal baron decided to purchase Big Splash. No, that’s not an amusement park or a resort. Big Splash is a red Tibetan Mastiff. And “Big Splash” really is a bit of an understatement when applied to the cost of the sale. Maybe huge or gargantuan is a better word. Or really, really, absurdly big. Why? Because Big Splash the canine was worth 1.5 million, in US dollars.
The sale made Big Splash the most expensive dog ever. If you’re wondering why anyone is willing to pay millions for a pooch, it’s because red is the color of luck in Chinese culture. And according to superstition, Tibetan Mastiffs bring wealth and good fortune to its owners. Maybe the buyer thinks he’s eventually going to get his money back a thousand-fold.
Anyway, the Tibetan Mastiff is hardly the only dog breed to fetch a high price. Generally, factors that can jack up a dog’s value include:
- purity of breed
- rarity of breed
- whether it’s a progeny of prize-winning dogs
- whether it’s popular with celebrities
In the Unites States, dogs are the most popular pets among homeowners. In fact 9 out of 10 homes have a dog or a cat as a member of the family. That’s over 150 million dogs and cats across the nation.
Many of them came from rescue shelters or were purchased from pet stores. That means their owners likely just parted with a hundred dollars or so to take them home. However, those who are looking for more specific breeds can expect to shell out a bit more money, too. The cost may not really come close to Big Splash, but it’s certainly no chump change, either.
Here are 4 dog breeds that cost a pretty penny.
1. Tibetan Mastiff
As previously indicated, Big Splash is a Tibetan Mastiff. This breed originates from the mountains of Central Asia. They lived alongside the many nomadic tribes who lived there. Traditionally, Tibetan Mastiffs were used to protect the home, the farm and the flocks. They’re big enough to scare large predators like leopards. The genetic line of the Tibetan Mastiff peeled away from the wolf 16,000 years before many of the most common dog breeds.
2. The Lowchen
Lowchen is German for “little lion”. And the Lowchen dog breed is easily one of the rarest in the world. The line originates from Europe some 4 centuries ago. It was a common breed for the lords and ladies of Germany. Back then, grooming a dog to resemble a lion with no trimming in the front half was fashionable. The hindquarter of the canine was trimmed closely. Today, Lowchen puppies can cost thousands of dollars.
3. Canadian Eskimo Dog
Most often used as sled dogs, the Canadian Eskimo dog originated from the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic. These dogs do well in the extreme cold because their thick coat can withstand the punishing weather conditions in the region. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Inuit people started using snowmobiles more and that almost triggered an extinction of the species. Eventually, the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation started breeding the last remaining dogs. While the numbers today aren’t much better, it’s at least safe to say that there are still Canadian Eskimo dogs around. Because of its rarity, however, buying a puppy can set you back by several thousand dollars.
4. Egyptian Pharaoh Hound
Traditionally used as hunters’ companions in the Mediterranean country of Malta, the Egyptian Pharaoh Hound is a visually striking breed. These dogs are strong and athletic. They are highly independent and quite active. They are also rarely found outside of Malta. These beautiful dogs are very expensive and a puppy can easily cost $5,000 or more.
There are a few more dog breeds that are generally more costly to get than others. These include Japanese Akitas, Bearded Collies, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, English Bulldogs, Samoyeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and German Shepherds.
There are many pet owners who won’t really bat an eyelash at throwing thousands of dollars for a pet that will provide him with companionship and friendship. As the saying goes, dog is man’s best friend. And who’s to judge the value of a friend?