Look up “mastiff” in the dictionary and “large” and “powerful” will be among the first words you read. The different mastiff breeds have been bred for guarding and for fighting. The two most expensive dog breeds in the world are the Tibetan Mastiff and French Mastiff.
A Tibetan Mastiff
The largest Tibetan Mastiffs can stand over 31 inches tall and the breed typically weighs over 140 lbs. The dogs can be black, grey, brown or even, in some rare instances, completely white. Best of all, their coats shed odors—they lack the troublesome aroma that afflicts other large dogs. In both their native Tibet and the West, they have been prized as livestock guardians and have even been reported to have killed tigers to protect their flock.
The world’s most expensive dog, Yangtze River No. 2, was a Tibetan Mastiff.
A French Mastiff
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Typically standing over 24 inches and weighing more than 100 lbs, the French Mastiff can be a terror if not socialized at an early age. The sport of dog fighting was popular in Bordeaux, France, and the Dogue de Bordeaux, as the breed is more properly called, proudly bears the city’s name. The expensive breed may trace its ancestry to the Alans/Alaunts, a breed of dog from the Middle Ages, or the Bulldog. It was known in France as early as the 14th century and was entered into its first show in the 1863. It wasn’t until the 1920’s, though, that the French Mastiff became a uniform breed. The dog was virtually unknown outside of France until the late 1800s and was threatened with extinction after WWII. In 1970, though, the Dogue de Bordeaux population began to grow again.
Famous French Mastiffs include Beasley, who starred alongside Tom Hanks in Turner & Hooch, and Mac, recently stolen from and returned to Dutch football player Andy van der Meyde.