This is a Tibetan Mastiff. It’s one of the largest dogs in the world and, until recently, it was super trendy to have one if you were a wealthy person in China.
The big ones can reach 160 pounds and they were so popular in China that the phenomenon warranted a full Vice documentary.
But those days are over and these giant dogs, part of an ancient breed, simply aren’t considered cool anymore. So what’s a dog breeder in China to do if their dog is now considered “over” and “lame”? Sell it for food.
But you’re not going to get much return on your investment. The New York Times reports that Tibetan Mastiffs are only worth about five dollars a head when used for “hot pot ingredients, imitation leather and the lining for winter gloves.”
Animal rights activists in China have only managed to save a few of the thousands of now unpopular dogs but they say that this is how pet trends go in China. Previously it was Golden Retrievers, Huskies, and Dalmations that became popular and were then discarded by breeders in the same fashion.
Dog leather and hot pots, don’t be a popular dog in China.