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Tibetan Mastiff Craze Sweeps China (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/06/10 04:17 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:15 PM ET

The Tibetan mastiff is not only an ancient dog with a rich history, dating back to nomad times in Central Asia, it's a modern-day craze in China.

The special breed of dog is becoming more and more popular across China, but besides popularity, it's associated with affluence. A Tibetan mastiff costs upwards of $600,000, per MSNBC.

The Tibetan mastiff has literally become a status symbol, NPR reports. Not jewelry, not cars, but Chinese millionaires have their eyes on the dog.

In fact, it is viewed as a holy animal, and legend has it that Tibetan mastiffs provide their owners with a blessing to their health and security.

The breed is commonly identified as independent and intelligent, and protective of its owners and their property.

Along with the widespread praise, Tibetan mastiff dog shows are frequently held in China. Take a look at some pictures from recent shows and vote on your favorite.

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In this photo taken March 21, 2010, Tibetan mastiff puppies for sale sit on a car covered by a red blanket during annual China Tibetan Mastiff Expo on the outskirts of Beijing, China. In recent years, interest in Tibetan Mastiffs has surged in China with more rich Chinese looking for various ways to to exhibit their wealthy and investment options in addition stocks and real estate. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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