Lion d'Occitanie

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Austrian turned French thanks to Madame Thérèse Pelon
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This fact sheet has been compiled with the kind permission of Thérèse Pelon.
This breed is also known as
Lion Mastiff
Old Type Leonberger

Brief historical summary

The Lion d'Occitanie is not a new breed, but the Leonberg of our ancestors.
"Shadow", the first officially recorded Leonberg specimen, lived in the Austrian Alps in 1620 and measured 1.20 m at the withers!
Over the centuries, the Leonberg standard has been modified to impose a maximum height of 80 cm at the withers for males.
In the 80s, the number of Leonbergers exceeding this size was tiny, but it was these fantastic giants that Thérèse Pelon fell in love with. A passion that led her to devote all her energy to recreating the "original Leonberg": a large dog (on average 94 cm at the withers for males and 84 cm for females), healthy, intelligent and well-balanced.
Strict selection criteria were applied in terms of morphology, psychology and relationships. Similarly, precise observations were made on the study of behavior to establish a physical and mental structure as close as possible to the very origins of the breed. This task was entrusted to the C.R.C. (Centre de Recherche en Cynopsychologie) in 1989, with a view to identifying the essential characteristics to be preserved in the Lion d'Occitanie.
Official bodies do not recognize the breed, so Thérèse Pelon, to distinguish her dogs from the Leonbergs, gave them the name "Lion d'Occitanie", and a Register of Origins was opened. Each dog has a certificate attesting to its exact origins.

General appearance

The Lion d'Occitanie owes its name to the leonesque image that emanates from its overall appearance. They are powerful hounds with a feline appearance. The body fits harmoniously into a rectangle.

Behaviour / temperament

Its moral beauty must be matched by its physical beauty. He's a patient, understanding friend, aware of his power as much as his size, sensitive and endearing. His intelligence is remarkable. Able to work, he makes a perfect team with his master, whom he will protect energetically if need be. He knows how to proportion his strength in play or work, depending on whether he's with a strong or a weak person. In fact, they are very gentle with children, the elderly and the disabled. He's a loyal companion, not prone to wandering, who knows how to guard property and people. They should be neither noisy nor aggressive.

Head

Cranial region

Skull
Bulging but not exaggerated. Seen from above, it fits into a square whose side is equal to the distance between the attachment and the ear.

Facial region

Nose
Broad and imperatively black.
Muzzle
Slightly wider at the base than at the nose, straight.
Jaws and teeth
Scissor bite and admittedly nibbling, but without exaggeration.
Cheeks
Slightly rounded, but in line with the muzzle.
Eyes
Medium-sized, almond-shaped, highlighted with black, hazel to golden in color, with a preference for lighter ones. The eyes are boyish, frank and expressive. The eyelids do not droop.
Ears
Set high, of medium size, and should, when the animal is expressive, come to the corner of the mouth. The width of the base should be equal to the length.

Neck

In males, the neck is long, muscular and powerful. It is adorned with a beautiful mane that starts at the base of the skull and attaches to the ear. Longer manes are preferred, as they are similar to lions.
In females, the neck is long and muscular and does not necessarily have a long mane, similar to that of a lioness. A long mane is not recommended.

Body

Body
The trunk appears long, although the back and loins are massive and appear short.
Back
Broad and straight to the croup, without taking away from the line. Flanks not tucked up.
Loin
Strong and powerful.
Chest
Oval and deep. Very well developed sternum.

Tail

Low set, with a very broad base, strong, never reaching beyond the hock, and very full. Hanging, but carried in a bow only when excited.

Limbs

Forequarters

Shoulders
Muscular, well defined, strong in bone and oblique to the thorax.
Upper arm
Close to the ribcage.
Elbows
Close to the body, in line with it.

Hindquarters

Upper thigh
Powerful, with well-developed, visible muscles, forming a right angle with the leg.
Lower thigh
Long, strongly muscled at the top.
Hock
The hock is never straight.

Coat

Hair
The coat is soft and silky. Relatively short on face, beginning of skull, top of legs. On the back, flanks and chest, it is at least 5 centimeters long. The forelegs are fringed. The hind legs are adorned with long, light-colored breeches. In males, an abundant mane surrounds the neck to the beginning of the shoulder. The coat should not hide the muscular shoulders and thighs, and should be relatively lighter than on the rest of the body, making its lines stand out.
Colour
The color of the coat is that of the Lion throughout the range. However, shades that are too light (sable) or too dark (charcoal) are not desirable. The muzzle, edges of the ears, eye contours and lips are always black. A black mask extending beyond the stop is not desired. White markings are excluded, with the exception of a star on the chest and toe tips.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Very large size is one of the main characteristics of the Lion d'Occitanie. The animal should never be heavy, but strong-boned and muscular.
Males should NEVER be less than 90 cm at the withers, and females NEVER less than 80 cm.
There is no maximum size, but it is important that the animal remains balanced.
Weight
Can reach 95 kg at around 2 years of age.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 An aggressive or timid animal.
 Lack of size, lack of bone, or heavy animal.
 Stop too pronounced.
 No mane in males.
 All congenital malformations (lack of teeth, cryptorchidism or monorchidism, upper or lower prognatism, dysplasia).
 Plantar pads, nose, lips other than black).
 Poor gait.
 Poor tail carriage.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

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