All About the McNab Dog Breed

All About the McNab Dog Breed

Also known as a McNab Sheepdog, a McNab Border Collie or McNab Herding Dog, this lovely canine is thought to be a descendant of the Scottish Collie which boasts a Border Collie ancestry. A McNab is a warm and friendly character, they are an ideal choice as a family pet because they adore people, children and other household pets because they don't tend to be as highly strung as their cousins. The are renowned for their loyalty towards their owners and are also extremely protective. The breed is also highly intellingent but wary around strangers. The one thing a McNab has is a heart of gold and will be a valued member of a family for a very long time as they live for 15 years if well cared for.

McNab History

The McNab is believed to have been developed by Alexander McNab back in the 19th century when he left his native Scotland to live in California. He crossed his Scottish Border Collie with a variety of shepherd dogs he found in the US and his cross breeding was a huge success. The McNab proved to be supreme herding dogs which farmers came to depend on with confidence. Over the years, this dedicated and loyal canine has also become a popular family pet because they are so loyal and protective of the people they love although the breed is not as well known even in this modern times.

McNab Appearance

The McNab is an athletic looking small to medium sized dog boasting a short coat which is typically black with white markings on their muzzles, chests, feet and the tips of their tails, although there are also red and white, and tricolour McNabs too. They boast triangular ears that can either stand up or flop forwards. The two traits that give McNabs their quite distinctive look are their tails which can be either naturally bobbed or long and their very cat-like feet. Eye colour can be brown, copper or hazel and they are almond shaped. McNabs never have blue or marbled eyes.

McNab Temperament

Having originally been bred as herding dogs, the instinct in them remains very strong and McNabs will naturally herd any animal they come across even in a domestic environment. They are very well mannered but they do like to be kept busy which means they are not the best choice for people who live in apartments. They have an amazing quality for wanting to stay clean which they do themselves making them very easy maintenance dogs to have around the home.

The McNab tends to be less highly strung than their cousins the Border Collie because they are more laid-back"" by nature and they don't have the obsessive trait either. However, they are extremely intelligent which means they need a lot of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise to stay happy, healthy and fit. These lovely dogs are very easy to train because they are so clever and they enjoy being taught new things. They love interactive games and being so agile, fast and so calm they are the ideal dog for agility training which they adore taking part in.

As a family pet, it really doesn't get much better, a McNab loves to be part of the household, they are protective, loyal and brilliant around children and other family pets. However, they need lots of space to run around and would not be the best choice for people who live in apartments.

McNab Health

McNabs are generally robust health-wise although they can suffer from the following:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Primary lens luxation
  • Cherry eye
  • Entropian & ectropian

However, not all McNabs would suffer from any of these conditions, but as dogs grow older it's always worth taking them for regular check-ups at the vets to make sure nothing untoward is going on.

McNab Care

As previously mentioned, McNabs are highly intelligent dogs which means they are easy to train and love to learn new things. Puppies need to socialised and trained from a young age so they grow up to well balanced adults. They are not the ideal choice for people who live in apartments because they do need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Ideally they are the perfect choice for people who spend a lot of their time in the great outdoors and who live in the country with lots of open space for their pets to run around in.

McNabs are very easy maintenance on the grooming front and will keep themselves clean because they really don't like getting dirty. An occasional brush is more symbolic than anything and helps form a strong bond with your dog whilst at the same time allowing you to check them over for any injuries or to see if they are sore anywhere on their bodies. Regular check-ups with the vet are a good idea to keep an eye on their teeth and to keep up with all their vaccinations. You should also check their ears from time to time to make certain they have not picked up any ear mites. If you get a puppy, it's a good idea to teach them to let you brush their teeth to reduce the risk of any dental issues.




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