McNabs are an interesting breed of herding dog that originated in the Mendocino region of Northern California. It should be noted that it’s quite rare to be able to pinpoint such a specific place of origin for a dog breed from the United States. They were specifically created to withstand the scorching heat of the Mendocino region of California.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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McNabs can look quite similar to Border Collies; however, McNabs are easily recognizable by their cat-like feet, which some think contribute to their athletic agility.
About this Breed
McNabs are a very interesting breed of herding dog that originated in the Mendocino region of Northern California. It should be noted that it’s quite rare to be able to pinpoint such a specific place of origin for a dog breed from the United States. They were specifically created to withstand the scorching heat of the Mendocino region of California.
McNabs were developed in the late 19th century by Alexander McNab. He left Scotland for America and then purchased a large sheep Ranch in the Mendocino region of Northern California. When he discovered that the climate in Northern California was much different than Scotland, he decided that he would need a new breed for the harsh conditions. He used dogs that he brought with him from Scotland, as well as local breeds, to create a new breed that would be able to withstand the hot temperatures and rugged terrain. The result was the McNab. While the breed has never received acknowledgement from the American Kennel Club, they are a relatively popular breed with ranchers in California. Thankfully, they are slowly gaining notoriety outside of the state.
Because they were bred specifically to be working dogs, their appearance can vary quite a bit from dog to dog. They are extremely energetic and are becoming very popular in the world of dog sports, where their high energy and exceptional intelligence make them wonderful candidates for agility trials and flyball. This energy level also means that they are not particularly well suited to apartment or city living; they’ll do much better in a suburban or country home where they have plenty of room to run and plenty of jobs to do. If they are deprived of the opportunity to use both their brains and their muscles, McNabs can become bored and destructive. This is a breed for a family that enjoys the outdoors and physical activities.
McNabs are known for getting along well with other dogs, and they can even be trained to get along with cats and other animals, including livestock. They do very well with children of all ages and would make a wonderful addition to a family.
While McNabs are slowly gaining popularity outside of their native state, California is still probably the best place to find one. They have not yet achieved enough notoriety in the United States to be easy to find, so a little bit of research will go a long way in acquiring a puppy.
McNabs on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share McNab ancestry.