Tibetan mastiff puppy yawns

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Pricey pups

Sleepy Tibetan mastiff puppies are displayed for sale on March 9 at a Baoding mastiff show in China's Hebei province.

Considered a major status symbol in Asia, these massive, fluffy pooches fetch prices from as low as $2,000 to as high as $750,000. In 2011, an 11-month-old red Tibetan mastiff puppy named Big Splash broke the record for most expensive dog when he was sold to a Chinese coal tycoon for a whopping $1.5 million.

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Tibetan mastiff puppies in a car trunk

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

An ancient breed

A litter of Tibetan mastiff puppies pop their heads out of an open car trunk at a mastiff show.

This fiercely loyal and protective breed is descended from canines used for hunting by nomadic tribes in central Asia and Tibet. Breeders still travel to the Himalayan plateau to collect young puppies, although many are unable to adjust to the low altitudes and die during the journey.

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Adult Tibetan mastiff sits with owner

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Massive mastiff

A very fluffy adult Tibetan mastiff sits patiently on a leash with its handler during a mastiff show.

Although it is called a mastiff for its size, this is technically a misnomer perpetuated by early Western visitors to the Himalayas. Since it is not a true mastiff, a more appropriate name for this breed would be a "Himalayan mountain dog."

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Tibetan mastiff puppies sleep atop a crate

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Bundles of fluff

A fluffy litter of four Tibetan mastiff puppies wearing decorative collars sleep atop their crate, where they are being displayed for sale.

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