The McNab Shepherd??”also called a McNab Sheepdog, McNab Border Collie, or McNab Herding Dog??”is a developing breed of dog. It originated from a smooth-coated dog typically reported to be the Scotch Collie or Fox Collie that was also the ancestor of the Border Collie. The breed's focus is on herding.
The appearance of dogs called McNabs can vary widely, though their shared roots with Border Collies means that they are often predominantly black 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 40 lb (18 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 enable its agility.
The primary quality that these dogs are bred for is their herding ability - brains not beauty; 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, water-loving with consequent 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 is also less 'high strung' or obsessive than the Border Collie. 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. They are obedient, protective and friendly.
The breed has its roots in northern California, where they were first bred by a Scotsman named Alexander McNab. In 1885 McNab brought two Border Collies from Grampian Hills of Scotland to the McNab ranch in Mendocino County. These two dogs were bred to select shepherd females of Spanish origin which were brought to this country by the Basque sheep herders, and that cross was called McNab shepherds because Mr. McNab perfected this breed of stock dogs which would head or heel.
- Donna Seigmund and Alvina Butti. The McNab Dog. Retrieved on 2006-02-28.