When organising flocks, the mastiff dog plays an indispensable role, defending the sheep from frequent attacks by wolves and foxes, and chasing away bears. There are normally five mastiffs per flock, and each will receive the same bread ration as the shepherd, in the form of flour.
The Spanish Mastiff—often called the Leonese Mastiff—is one of the most important and revered indigenous canine species in Spain.
This enormous dog, with a calm and gentle appearance, moves slowly and deliberately during the day. But at night, in the fold, it becomes a fierce animal, sensitive to the presence of any other animal or person that may be lurking near the flock, as a result of its excellent sense of smell.