The Tibetan Mastiff is an imposing breed of dog. It was once an outstanding sheepdog in its native Tibet, fighting off wolves and leopards, protecting its flock. The Tibetan Mastiff’s abilities extended to guarding isolated homes and whole villages.
This Mastiff became the breed of choice in China, each individual commanding an enormous pricetag. Some dogs were reported to cost $1.6 million only a few years ago.
Sadly, the love affair with the Tibetan Mastiff has come to an ugly and cruel end.
Early this year, a truckload of 150 Tibetan Mastiffs was intercepted by animal rights activists. Most of the dogs were saved although 1/3 of the dogs had died from the abominable conditions on the truck. The dogs’ owners had sold them for $5 each and they were being transported to a slaughterhouse to be used for their meat and fur and leather.
While this practice is illegal, the police don’t bother enforcing the law and the perpetrators get away with what is literally murder.
Once a status symbol to the Chinese, owners decided they were too expensive to maintain, costing close to $60 daily for food alone. As a result of the loss of status, many Tibetan Mastiff breeders have gone out of business. The dogs are either abandoned or sold to slaughterhouses.
Throughout the world, specific breeds have been in favor at different times. Unscrupulous breeders flood the market with specimens that may have problems. Once the fervor for that breed ends, the dogs suffer abuse and cruelty at the hands of humans.
Since the Chinese government and police will not help, animal groups such as “Together for the Animals in China” have started fundraising campaigns to save these magnificent dogs from such a cruel end.
If you are interested in aiding the effort to save this noble breed, please check online at Save the Tibetan Mastiff in China.