The Tibetan Mastiff hails from the nomadic areas of Mongolia, Nepal and other cultures of nomadic tribes. They are a very large breed of dog that were used to protect herds of sheep from predators, like wolves and bears. Studies have shown that the breed has a genetic relationship with other breeds; the Bernese Mountain Dog, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard and the Great Pyrenees. Although the breed has been around for thousands of years, it did not gain worldwide popularity until 1980. Although Tibetan Mastiffs are expensive dogs, one version of the breed is extremely rare and is very costly due to its rarity. It is known as the Red Tibetan Mastiff and it is one of the most beautiful dogs of any breed. Most people are probably not familiar with this dog, and even if you have heard of it, the following are seven things you didn’t know about the Red Tibetan Mastiff.
1. Most expensive dog
There are a lot of breeds of dogs, or versions of a breed, that are considered rare and can cost a lot of money, sometimes two and three times that of a regular version of a breed, however, one version of the Tibetan Mastiff, the Red Tibetan Mastiff is so rare that it costs more than any breed in the world and one in particular, sold for over $1.5 million. His name was Red Lion, and it has been said that he actually does have lion’s blood in him.
2. Largest breed of dog
If you plan to get a Red Tibetan Mastiff, you will want to b e prepared to spend a great deal of money on the upkeep. One of the biggest expenses in owning this dog is the cost of food. These mammoth canines will eat you out of house and home, especially because they eat a lot of specialty foods and meat. Most will eat enough chicken and beef to fuel a growing 180 lb. dog, which is a grocery ticket that most households cannot afford for a pet.
3. They are a status symbol
The Tibetan Mastiffs are considered to be a holy animal and are thought to hold blessings in health and security for their owners. Above that, the color red is considered to be a lucky color, which makes the Red Tibetan Mastiff is a status symbol that allows the wealthy to show off their wealth. They have surpassed the novelty of jewelry for the super-rich, and have grown in popularity there, simply for the fact that if you paid for and own a Red Tibetan Mastiff, you are considered to be very well-to-do.
4. Very intelligent dogs
These are very intelligent dogs and are known to be self-thinkers. They do not need someone to alert them to a dangerous situation, for example. As a matter-of-fact, they are very keen to danger and can easily sense danger. They are very protective of their owner and family and make excellent guard dogs. If they are not paid any attention, they are known to take a seat in front of the TV just to get your attention.
5. Owned by royalty
This is a breed of dog so noble that kings and queens, including Queen Victoria, Ghengis Khan and King George IV, have all been known to own the breed. Ghengis Khan took 30,000 Tibetan Mastiffs with his army to conquer Western Europe. As of now, there are known to be 300 Mastiffs in the UK.
6. Shed once a year
This breed has very thick fur and although they do shed, they basically have just one big shedding per year. Once a year this breed will shed all its undercoat and begin to grow in a new one. They do need to be brushed and groomed regularly in order to keep their thick undercoat from getting tangled and too thick.
7. The Tibetans believe these dogs are reincarnated from people
There is a belief that these dogs are just reincarnated souls of nuns and monks who were not worthy to be of the heavenly realm (Shambhalas) or even human, for that matter. And because they had no worthiness, they were reincarnated as these dogs. If that is the case, at least they came back as dogs of the royalty who are held in high respect and are very well taken care of.