Information about the McNab

The McNab Shepherd, also called a McNab Sheepdog, McNab Border Collie, or McNab Herding Dog, is a breed of dog whose focus is on herding. It originated from a smooth-coated dog typically reported to be the Scotch Collie or Fox Collie, which was also the ancestor of the Border Collie.

The appearance of dogs called McNabs can vary widely, though all in all, they closely resemble a shorthaired Border Collie or general shorthaired mix breed of dog. Their shared roots with Border Collies means that they are often predominantly black or red with white markings, white muzzle with a white streak running up the head between the eyes, usually a white neck and chest, white-tipped tail and one or more white feet. Some are large dogs of approximately 70 lb (32 kg), while others are as small as 35 lb (16 kg). Some have natural bobtails and others have long, narrow, short-furred tails. Its ears are medium sized and can be “pricked” or the top half may flop over. The coat is smooth or short. A strong characteristic of the McNab is its “cat-like” feet which enhance its agility.

The primary quality that these dogs are bred for is their herding ability; they are well known as cattle herders, but can herd other animals, such as horses, sheep, and llamas. McNabs are well-mannered dogs, hard-working, good personal hygiene, and friendly with small domestic animals such as cats and chickens, but they require extensive grounds in which to run and are happiest with a job to do. The McNab can also be an excellent deer and boar hunting dog. The McNab is also less ‘high strung’ or obsessive than the Border Collie. They were bred to have more “backbone” than the original Border Collie. It is common for a McNab to bark while they herd. They should exercise physically but also mentally by learning new activities or ‘tricks’ and being allowed to explore and learn new environments. This breed is sociable with other dogs and humans.

These dogs were developed by the Alexander McNab family in Mendocino, California, starting in the late 1800s from collies he brought from his native Scotland.