Well-heeled Chinese pay about $600,000 for Tibetan mastiff puppies. Referred to as gentle giants, the Tibetan mastiff is quickly becoming a canine status symbol. While this latest pet fad is sure to make it to American shores, is this dog breed really for you?
A Tibetan Mastiff for $600,000
A Tibetan mastiff can grow as tall as three feet and weigh as much as 150 pounds. Even so, MSNBC reports that middle-class Chinese in search of a status symbol do not hesitate to pay between $100,000 and $600,000 to take one of these animals home. In fact, the craze has already led to some poaching, Tibetan mastiff breeders revealed when speaking to curious reporters.
The Status Symbol Dog
Keeping a dog as a status symbol is not a new occurrence. Even though the choice of Tibetan mastiff puppies may appear a bit odd, considering the highly specialized needs of the breed and the cost involved in properly maintaining this type of mastiff, canines have long contributed to their keepers’ display of supposed societal status.
The Mutt Shack takes to task owners of pit bulls whose main rationale for keeping this much-maligned breed is their hypothetical nod toward the keeper’s machismo. Socialites, such as Paris Hilton, whose Yorkshire terriers have received as much paparazzi attention as the heiress herself, have made these diminutive animals the status symbol of the idle rich.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding a Tibetan mastiff, pit bull or Yorkshire terrier to the right kind of household for the right reasons, investing a lot of money in an animal for the sake of prestige quickly leads to cruelty. In the case of the pit bull, it can also lead to deadly consequences when the environment is not appropriate for the animal’s needs.
Are Tibetan Mastiff Puppies in Your Future?
For the would-be dog owner who has fallen in love with the Tibetan mastiff, it is vital to first truly understand what makes the animals tick. Canada’s Guide to Dogs points out that Tibetan mastiff puppies get big, heavy, mature slowly, become very protective and have a will of iron. Training the animals is a must, and daily interaction is indispensable for proper socialization.
Due to several genetic conditions, one of which is the potentially deadly canine-inherited demyelinative neuropathy, it is crucial to obtain youngsters from registered, reputable Tibetan mastiff breeders. A would-be dog owner’s best bet – of course – is to search out a Tibetan mastiff from one of the rescue organizations that cater to this breed.