According to legend, when Genghis Kahn began his little campaign to conquer all of Asia and Europe, his most trusted sidekicks were his Tibetan mastiff, or gigantic dogs, that would eventually be responsible for the creation of most large breeds of dogs throughout the world. At one point during the 20th century, though, the breed became rare throughout the world and people feared that it would eventually become endangered. But like all cool vintage trends, someone eventually hipstered up and gave the Tibetan mastiff a second chance, and over the past 10 years the breed has seen a powerful resurgence.
For starters, the Westminster Kennel Club recognized the breed for the first time ever during the 2008 dog show, and that was the direct result of – and probably more likely the cause of – a growing number of competitions and exhibitions throughout China, involving just this breed. Over the weekend, the China Tibetan Mastiff Exhibition was held in Shenyang in the Liaoning province (it’s like the Chicago of China) and that massive beast above was the big winner of the event’s beauty contest.
If you’re thinking about getting in on this Tibetan mastiff action, you might want to start saving, though. Mastiff puppies sell for as much as $200,000 in the U.S. and Europe, and most breeders have a waiting list. But if you’re really fired up and ready to pass on that new house you’ve had your eye on, a man in Urumqi, Xinjiang (think: Los Angeles) nearly broke a world record when his mastiff, Black Pearl, produced a litter of 22 pups last month.