Probably not, because we’re sure the 800,000 RMB sign around his neck would have gotten your attention otherwise. Shanghaiist was leisurely strolling down Xinzha Lu (as jobless people might very well do) when we noticed some hubbub around a pet store. We saw a regular looking man in his twenties holding the leash of a what looked like a large Yao Ming of a poodle with white fluffy fur. Then one of the men loitering around the store told us that this dog cost 800,000 RMB, which struck at first as impossible, until another person repeated the same thing. Investigating further, we found out this indeed was no ordinary pooch, it was a Tibetan mastiff (藏獒), a rare canine that people go to great lengths to breed and then buy. These huge dogs (they on average weigh more than an adult human male) were livestock guardians but largely disappeared from Tibet. Since the 1800s the British have been breeding and standardizing them. Still, we wanted to know if the Xinzha Lu price was normal or not, and it seems that it is. In Taiyuan (Shanxi province), about 50 of the dogs were sold for a total of more than 100 million RMB. China’s dog experts have devised a classification for the dogs based on their pedigree. One of the finer examples of the species was recently bought by a Chengdu man who went to Tibet and camped outside the dog’s owner’s house for a week before finally getting the owner, who was moved by his dedication, to part with the dog for a cool 1.2 million RMB.