China: Wealthy Chinese citizens are paying up to $594,000 to acquire Tibetan mastiffs. There are reportedly only 100 purebreds left of the breed that Marco Polo described as being "as tall as a donkey and with a voice like a lion".
The creatures have a bite to match their bark and are noted as ferocious, faithful, and fearless guard dogs. They were domesticated thousands of years ago by nomads as a guard dog for their tents while they tended to their flocks.
The breed is thought to be the biggest and the oldest breed of domestic dog. The animals have gained popularity as both an effective guard dog and a status symbol.