This is what the Chinese have done to the Tibetan mastiff:
China’s nouveau riche are buying Tibetan mastiffs as status symbols. Currently, there are breeders selling them there for as much a $2 million. They want the dogs as bear-like as possible and as big a possible. The rumor is that these dogs are part lion, and as we’ve seen with the English mastiff (“What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog”), the breeding goal is to create a leonine form of canine flesh.
(And it must have worked. One Chinese zoo put a Tibetan mastiff on display as an African lion.)
Of course, when I saw this photo, I thought, “Yeti!”
It is important to note that this drive toward breeding exaggeration from novelty is not solely a Western feature. It exists in other cultures. It just requires some disposable income and an animal that has some symbolism to be projected onto it.