As is the faith of all breeds, the commercialization and popularization of a breed for the primarily purpose of satisfying the public's demand with emphasis on aesthetics over function results in the inevitable demise of the breed. Form must always follow function if breed integrity is to be maintained. The issue with the TM is of concern, in that this breed is in reality at present a reconstituted breed, with few pure TM specimens having survived. Multiple different breeds were likely incorporated in the TM genetic pool in recent years. Certainly the Chow, Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog, and perhaps Caucasian Ovcharka to name a few. With some egomaniacal nouveau riche person purchasing a TM for $2 mil, many breeders will then strive to create a dog that the next fool will throw money after, with little concern for the functional capabilities of the dog, so long as it has the "right" look and color, with the lions mane. Few very wealthy Chinese will purchase the TM for its guarding instincts, but rather for its aesthetics and the prestige and attention bestowed the owner by others. They wish to impress and announce to the world, here I am, I am filthy rich, look at me. To that end a rare breed held in high cultural esteem is able to accomplish the task, regardless of its functional capabilities.
I have always preferred large athletic dogs, with emphasis on athleticism and temperament. However, size without proper structure, locomotion/kinesiology, and breed specific temperament is of little value to me or the dog.
I have owned two Bernese Mountain Dogs, both of whom were excellent male specimen, superior to what is often seen today. What happened to this breed, as i currently see many poor specimen. Humans can be a bit crazy and inventive when it comes to dogs and aesthetics. I remember one show judge informing me that the white on the Berners chest must be in the shape of a Swiss Cross. I looked at this judge and thought to myself WTF is this imbecile talking about. How and why should anyone make it their ambition to ensure that markings on a breed resemble a swiss cross ( I always preferred the Celtic cross myself). How can this benefit a dog functionally, and what other genetic cross-links will be realized unintentionally when selectively breeding for white swiss cross chest markings?