From millions in real estate to jet-setting around the globe, the world’s richest dog is rolling in the dough.
Gunther VI is a German Shepard with a net worth of $400 million. It sounds too good to be true, but Gunther is the heir to his grandfather Gunther III’s fortune, also a German Shepard, who was owned by mysterious German countess Karlotta Leibenstein. Before the countess died in 1992, she left her $80 million estate in the paws of the pooch — she didn’t have a living heir after her son’s tragic death.
Although we know German Shepards are among the smartest breeds, it’s unlikely a dog can be trained in finance. So the countess left Gunther’s fortune in the hands of Italian pharmaceutical heir Maurizio Mian — a friend of the countess’ late son.
Now, 30 years later, Mian has built a lucrative and lavish empire for Gunther’s descendants, including a $7.5 million Miami mansion he purchased from Madonna on Gunther’s behalf, which was then sold for a profit at $29 million.
Under Mian’s care, Gunther’s original $80 million inheritance has grown to a whopping $400 million, but not without cost.
Netflix is set to unpack the unbelievable tale and the questionable handling of Gunther’s assets in a new four-part investigative docuseries, Gunther’s Millions, premiering on February 1.
Keep scrolling for more details about Gunther and the new documentary.
Who is Maurizio Mian?
Before Gunther’s bloodline fell into the hands of Mauizio Mian, the Italian entrepreneur was known as the heir to the successful pharmaceutical company Istituto Gentili, which was instrumental in developing a treatment for osteoporosis, according to the Daily Beast.
After going to medical school, Mian became a university professor before assuming the position of Gunther’s handler. Under Mian’s care, the Gunther Trust was established and now owns several businesses and corporations, including The Burgundians, an entertainment group comprised of rotating aspiring models who sing and dance for the lucky dog.
However, The Burgundians fell apart after Mian allegedly conducted “science experiments” to study happiness, according to the outlet. He went on to buy several sports teams including the Pisa Sporting Club and formed another music group, The Magnificent 5, with the purpose of procreating and birthing ideal humans, according to the outlet.
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Is the tale of Gunther’s millions real?
Based on a glance at Maurizio Mian’s suspicious resume, the entrepreneur’s credibility is questionable. As it turns out, the story behind Gunther’s riches is a farce that Mian created to avoid Italian tax laws, according to the Daily Beast.
Furthermore, Fox Business notes that there is no evidence that a countess ever existed, and other reports claim that there might be more than one Gunther among us.
Additional reports also show that Mian tended to inflate and change his stories to the press over the years.
Although Gunther’s past might be made up, Gunther IV is very much real and currently lives in Italy.
“He has a very nice life and is very well taken care of,” Emily Dumay, executive producer of Gunther’s Millions, told Fox. “Throughout the years, there were multiple Gunthers. Obviously, Gunther does not necessarily travel or do all the activities — that’s something the caretakers do,” she added. “So, sometimes they will have stand-ins. They will have a stand-in if they feel it’s not appropriate to bring Gunther due to safety reasons. They’re also very protective of him.”
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How does Gunther spend his money?
While it’s not exactly clear how Gunther amassed his great fortune, or how he swipes his credit cards with his paws, he definitely isn’t roughing it.
The hound has an entire staff that waits on his needs, including a private chef who presents him with gold-flake-covered steaks, and both a legal and public relations team, per Forbes. He is also protected by a security team and often visits a high-end groomer, Fox Business found.
Additionally, the film’s executive producer told Fox that Gunther’s handlers are always looking to expand his empire, and they are currently discussing “a digital collection” that will allow fans to digitally interact with the pooch.
Furthermore, Gunther is said to own multiple mansions and villas, and he prefers to fly private over commercial flights.