Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group:     Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 25-50 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Black & White, Brown & White


Life Expectancy: 12-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The McNab is a medium size, hunting and herding dog that originated in California, USA. This dog is also known as McNab Sheepdog, McNab Shepherd, McNab Border Collie and McNab Herding dog. It was developed by an Scottish shepherd, Alexander McNab, who settled in California. After death of his Scottish Collie, the shepherd found local dogs wanting in herding skills so he got two Scottish Collies from his homeland which became the foundation for this new breed. These Scottish Collies were mated to unfamiliar female dogs brought by Basque Sheep herders. The resulting puppies were first McNab dogs.

This breed is highly valued for its skills in hunting, herding, driving and farm work rather than its appearance. Though over 100 years have passed since the first puppies were born, the breed is still rare and unknown outside its area of origination.

The appearance of this breed can be varied from dog to dog though they will generally resemble the Shorthaired Border Collies. Generally speaking a McNab is a short haired dog which stands 15" to 25" at the shoulders and should weigh about 25-50 pounds. One of the most prominent features of the dog is the ears, they are long pointy and stand erect although some flop over like a border collie. Almond shaped eyes with hazel, copper or brown coloring, hold alert expression. Naturally bobbed or long narrow tail is short furred and white tipped. Its cat-like feet help the dog acquire fast speeds and agility. The shorthaired coat helps the dog sustain scorching hot temperatures during summer. It comes in red with white markings, black with white markings; may be tri-colored.

This dog is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major kennel club.


Common colors for this breed are red with white markings, black with white markings and some can be tri-colored.


This dog has a short and smooth coat. It makes the dog tolerant of hot summers of California.


Developed for its working skills rather than looks, the McNab dog is a versatile herder, hunter and farm dog. A renowned cattle herder, the dog can also herd horses, sheep and llamas. Apart from excellent herding and driving skills, this dog is also an excellent hunter of deer and wild boar. As a family pet, this dog, unlike other herding breeds, has an even tempered and warm personality. It is a human oriented breed that forms strong bond with its family. Known to be a one man or one family dog, it is very devoted to its family. With attuned senses and keen intelligence, it has a watchful but restrained way when meeting with strangers. It is a fairly territorial breed that will seldom tolerate strange dogs and people on "its" territory. It is friendly with dogs and pets in its family and specially kind and gentle with children. This active breed will need lots of exercise; both physical and mental. It dislikes to sit idle, thus not a suitable dog for apartment or cramped living space. It is very trainable due to its well behaved nature but does need a strong and stable trainer. Generally the McNab is a well-mannered, loyal and amiable breed with a heart of gold.


It is a low maintenance breed that requires once a week brushing of its short haired coat. Bathing should be done only when necessary. This dog will need lots of physical and mental stimulation and the owner must make sure that this breed gets enough time to play and run in an open area.


Early socialization and obedience is recommended. The McNab is intelligent and eager to please. McNab's will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, fairness, patience, and consistency.


The McNab requires an inordinate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They must have a job to do. This breed is not recommended for city or apartment living. The McNab will do best in a rural setting where there is ample room to work, roam, and run. It is not a dog who likes to sit idle, doing nothing. This active breed needs an active owner or family.

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