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Image: four-million-yuan (600,000 USD) dog
AFP - Getty Images
A woman, identified by only the surname Wang, poses with her $582,000 dog as they are greeted by a convoy of 30 black Mercedes-Benz cars at the airport in Xi'an, in China's Shaanxi province, on September 9, 2009.
TODAY staff
updated 9/11/2009 10:05:40 AM ET 2009-09-11T14:05:40

It sounds like a shaggy dog story, but it isn’t. A Tibetan Mastiff is believed to have broken the record as the world’s most expensive dog — sold to a young Chinese millionaire for a mind-blowing $582,000.

The owner, known only as Ms. Wang, traveled to Qinghai province of northwest China to purchase the 18-month old dog, named Yangtze River Number Two.

Yangtze came home to an A-List entrance at Xi’an airport in China’s Shaanxi province, where he was reportedly greeted by hordes of dog lovers and picked up on Wednesday by a motorcade of 30 black Mercedes-Benz cars.

“Gold has a price, but this Tibetan Mastiff doesn’t,” she was quoted as saying to Chinese publications.

Tibetan Mastiffs, a fairly rare breed, typically cost about $2,000 in the West, but are more expensive in China where they are valued for their skills as guard dogs.

Ms. Wang has plans to mate Yangtze with another Tibetan Mastiff that she owns, according to Chinese reports.

A family in Florida previously held the record, paying $155,000 for a Labrador named Lancelot Encore, cloned from their dead dog, Lancelot.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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