A re-creation of the old-type Leonberger of the early 1900's, the Lion d'Occitanie was developed by Therese Pelon, reportedly using the largest Leonbergers she could find. There are also theories suggesting that the Lion d'Occitanie is a cross between the Leonberger and the Zlatan Sarplaninac, but some Caucasian Ovcharka influence has also been hinted at, as well some other "mystery" breeds and even a Tibetan wolf. Whether this is true is uncertain, but her dogs have been bred true to type for over a decade and are said to be consistently healthier and much larger than the standard Leonbergers of today. This is an increasingly popular breed, reportedly possessing sound temperament and remarkable intelligence. As expected, a number of Leonberger breeders and promoters dismiss the Lion d'Occitanie as a marketing ploy and a mutt.
Said to be wonderful companions, the Lions are also used as therapy dogs, often working with autistic children. However, when employed as guard dogs, these giants are much more protective and intimidating than Leonbergers. Some Leonberger breeders are suspected of introducing Therese Pelon's dogs into their bloodlines in order to create taller dogs, but this hasn't yet been confirmed. Large-headed, massive and strongly boned, this colossal mastiff is a very attractive Molosser.
The rich, long coat comes in solid shades of fawn and red, but unlike the Leonberger, the Lion's dense undercoat is wolf-grey, affecting the overall appearance. It is common to see a Lion d'Occitanie dog with a small white patch on its chest. Dwarfing the modern Leonbergers, as well as most other breeds, the average height of the Lion d'Occitanie is reportedly around 38 inches, but smaller dogs exist.