Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

91 B, route de St Bonnet
17150 St Sorlin de Conac

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Located in Charente-Maritime, in the small village of Saint Sorlin de Conac, Eliane Martineau's kennels consist of some 30 Chows. Eliane's is the biggest and one of the oldest kennels still in activity in France, with a lot of diversity.

With her number of Chows, Eliane is able to line breed and to work freely. Such a big team is rare in the country.

Lee-Dou des Thitounes is also an unusal kennel in the country as it has plenty of variety ie This is the only kennel to have 4 cream lines, 2 smooth lines and it's also the only one to produce blue in the country on a regular basis since the early years.

1980's - The genesis

U'Pai-Kong du Grand Khan, black dog, came into Eliane's life in 1984. He was soon followed by Chipie-Thai, red bitch, thus starting the beginning of a long history. The "du Lee-Dou des Thitounes" was granted to Eliane Bernard (later Martineau) at the same period. Books have been read and she decided that the type she wanted to breed was a similar one to Achille and Francine Lambert's (de Berlaimont). So when Eliane wanted to have new Chows, she naturally goes to de Berlaimont Chows.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes              Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Et'Chang-Blue de Tchin Kiang (left) and Fou Lee de Kouan Ti (right)

The influence of Berlaimont

During the early years, almost all new additions to the team were out of "de Berlaimont" lines :

1988     Doyen Lee de Kouan Ti

1989     Et'Chang-Blue de Tchian Kiang

1990     Fou Lee de Kouan Ti

1990     Fuyang Song Chou Hou

1990     Fy-Lling de Berlaimont

1999     Pai de Berlaimont

1999     Praia de Berlaimont

Among these, 3 were Ch Oes-Ming Chy-Nees' offspring (Et'Chang, Fuyang et Fou Lee). Chy-Nees can also be found in Eliane's own lines as she mated her bitch Doyen Lee to Chy-Nees in 1990.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Eliane handling Ch Beijing du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

First steps in the rings

Eliane used to show her dogs on a more regular basis than now. She started her show career with Elsa -Ouan du Grand Khan (1988) who was shown a few times and managed to gain her cotation n°2. In the 1980's, show wins did not come easily as competition was so much greater than it is today with Clubshows featuring more than 150 entries. Eliane had to work hard to achieve top honours but her turn was to come in due course. She had some more success with Fou Lee de Kouan Ti (cotation 3) and Fy-Lling de Berlaimont (Cotation 4) before gaining her first champion title. Ch Happy Day of Blue Baron got the prestigious CACS (and CACIB) at the Longchamps Championship show in 1993, with Mr D Favier (de Nha Do Mong) judging. On the 20th February 1994, Mr O Meyer (du Sama Khada) gave Happy Day her 3rd CACS in Toulouse, thus making her up as Eliane's first Champion.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes               Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Ch Happy Day of Blue Baron (left) and Elsa -Ouan du Grand Khan (right)

Happy Day and the English breedlines

With the arrival of Happy Day in 1992, Eliane took a new direction. In the early 1990's, she became a friend of Francine Smets (of Blue Baron), who often imported UK Chows, one of them being Suntory Rough Diamond (Happy Day's sire). Eliane became then interested in the UK Chows and the typical UK movement as well as the line breeding.

At that time, UK had a strong influence in France. There were a lot of UK imports and English judges often came to judge the Breed. So Eliane could easily get plenty of useful information to develop her kennel. She learnt how to line breed.

In the meanwhile, Eliane studied the pedigrees of the UK Chows imported in the country. One of the kennels that exported a lot was Sheila Jakeman's (Tanlap) : Lachassine's Tanlap Talassid, Moysan's Tanlap Titania, Favier's Tanlap Tru Desire, Meyer's Ch Tanlap Top Hat and Lebrun's Ch Tanlap Tropical who gained his title at Longchamps Championship show in 1989.

This stud dog had quite an influence on Eliane's kennel. In 1995, decision was made to mate a Tropical's son to Happy Day, thus turning the line into almost pure english product. The mating was repeated and a dog was sent to Russia where he gained Russian and International title in due course. Eliane kept a bitch as well who was to produce later Nao-Mi du Lee-Dou des Thitounes. She can be found in a lot of Lee-Dou des Thitounes Chows' pedigrees.

A few years later, Eliane got a bitch from Mrs Blanchard (de la Remise des Grès), bred by Mr J Ribelles, by the name of Jacee des Narcisses du Donjon. This bitch was a Ch Tanlap Tropical's daughter and was quite precious to Eliane. Two of her sons - Oyko et Peixian - would be used at stud, especially Peixian.

Peixian du Lee-Dou des Thitounes was born on 6/9/1999 before being sold to Mr Becker. He was shown and gained the cotation n°4 and - thank goodness - had a A hip score. It is as a sire he will be best remembered and he produced among others :

Shen-Lee du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

Shi-Wang du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

Sing du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (One of Eliane's first smooth Chows)

Shin-Ees Blue du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

Tai-Phong du Tchaé

Tao-Zhu du Tchaé

Toshima du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes             Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Peixian du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (left) and Iang Lee Huang (right)

What about the dogs ?

When Eliane started to show and win, she was handling bitches and her first Champion was a bitch as well. What about the males ? Eliane’s first main stud dogs was Et'Chang-Blue de Tchin Kiang - born 1989 - by Chy-Nees out of a blue bitch from Berlaimont lines.

Et'Chang proved to be very precious for Eliane - he can be found in a lot of Lee-Dou des Thitounes pedigrees and because he was out of blue x blue mating, he was the foundation of Lee-Dou des Thitounes blue Chows.

From 1991, the stud team developed and Gai-Iang du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, a self red dog out of Elsa, was retained and mated to a couple of bitches. Witn Gai-iang, Eliane produced a very dark red colour that would be later in 2001 bred on a more regular basis with the arrival of Ch Rahnee Dhao's Azir at home.

In 1993, Iang Lee Huang, by Gai-Iang, arrived at home and joined the stud team.

The development of the kennel in the 1990's

Over the next few years, the kennel started to develop. Eliane concentrated on breeding puppies and improve her kennel. She established her own lines and hardly went to mate outside. Her lines were then based on Berlaimont - mainly Chy-Nees - but also on Happy Day, who can still be found via the Champion Only-Yu du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, her daughter. After breeding came the administration and Eliane became a Chow-Chow Club Français delegate in her area and she always shared her knowledge with people having a keen interest in the Breed. In 2002, she got the certificate of breeding hability.

In the turn of the century, other Champions followed : Ch Lee'Chen du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, blue bitch, Ch Puqi du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, black dog, Ch Only-Yu du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, Happy Day's daughter.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des ThitounesLes Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Pai de Berlaimont and Jowtrix Creme Chicuelo (right)

Du Lee-Dou des Thitounes cream Chows

In 1999, Eliane added 2 new bitches to her team : Pai de Berlaimont and Praia de Berlaimont. Unfortunately, mated to Pexian, they whelped only red pups so I suggested she should find a male with the cream gene and preferably a cream dog. In 2002, I got a cream puppy bitch from Jowtrix kennels in the UK (famous for his creams) and I managed to convince him to export another cream to France.This is how Alfy, aka Jowtrix Creme Chicuelo, flew in in 2003. On 9/12/2003, a minor miracle happened : Pai and Alfy had 4 beautiful cream puppies.

From the promising litter, 3 puppies were retained : U'Pai-King du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, U'Pai-Kong du Lee-Dou des Thitounes and U'Creamy du Lee-Dou des Thitounes. Eliane also mated her champion Only-Yu du Lee-Dou des Thitounes to Alfy and established another line with the cream gene. One of the bitch from the mating was later to whelp African du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, one of the current stud dogs.

In 2004, Alfy sadly died at a too young age after producing only these 2 litters. So she tried to find a cream male that could suit her bitches and the decision wasmade to buy 3 cream Chows - 1 dog and 2 bitches - from the Eastern Europe. Koko-Hazi Aladar was the new cream sweetheart of the kennel. He produced creams and blues, among them Vainey du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, out of a cream bitch from Hungary.

In 2006, one of my friends in Norway told me that she was going to sell her cream smooth Chow Chowhill's Tomorrow Never Dies (Laban). Whilst talking to Eliane I mentioned that Laban was going to be sold and soon after the conversation, I arranged Laban's arrival in Saint Sorlin de Conac. Then Eliane's kennels got her 4th cream line, thus becoming the biggest cream producer.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des ThitounesLes Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Rahnee Dhao's Pretty Woman and Gai-Iang du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (right)

Du Lee-Dou des Thitounes smooth Chows

In 2000, Eliane got Rahnee Dhao's Pretty Woman, a red smooth bitch born in Belgium from US parents. As far as I know she was then the only smooth in France, together with Miss V Potter's (Kiyat) UK import. So Eliane brought a new variety to her kennel and she soon managed to produce smoothes on a regular basis. One of Pretty's puppies, born in 2001, would be sold to Mrs M de Beaulieu in my area and was shown a few times.

In 2003, Pretty whelped a black smooth bitch, who then produced Amerika du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, still living at Eliane's. With the arrival of Laban in 2006, Eliane had a new smooth line. With careful and clever matings with her bitches, she has got a type of smooth which is very close to her own type of Chows.

In 2007, the breeder produced Charlie-Blue du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, who was quite an event in the country. He was then the only blue smooth Chow who had in his 3 generation pedigree more than 50% of Chows produced by his own breeder.

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des ThitounesLes Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes
Above : Fun Cream du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (left) and Favorit Black du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (right)

The 2010's

In 2008, Eliane met Gerardo d'Amato and their partnership brought in some new bloodlines in Lee-Dou des Thitounes'. Gerardo's dog Tanlap Twice Ice was mated to bitches so that in 2010 Gerardo and Eliane bred :
- Mrs M Dauchy's Fun Cream du Lee-Dou des Thitounes (Tanlap Twice Ice x Bun du lee-Dou des Thitounes)
- Gerardo's Favorit Black du lee-Dou des Thitounes (Tanlap Twice Ice x Dark Angel du lee-Dou des Thitounes)
- Gerardo's First Lady Tiger du Lee-Dou des Thitounes et Elian's For Mister Tiger du Lee-Dou des Thitounes, both by Quiet Please dei Leoni Imperiali in Italy out of Gerardo's Dawnanda Damion Dusc.

By Julien Marchetti [October 2009/April 2012]
With the kind help of Amanda Lownds

Les Chow-chows du Lee-Dou des Thitounes

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