Share this image


Warm and even-tempered, the McNab is a friendly and tolerant member of any household.

dogedit  |  Nov 1st 2019

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 25 – 50 pounds
  • Height: 15 – 25 inches

The Look of a McNab

The McNab is an athletic, small or medium-sized dog with a short, black coat that usually has white markings on the muzzle, chest, feet and tip of the tail. Its distinctive, triangular ears are either pricked or flop over. Its tail can be naturally bobbed or long. It is also distinguished by its cat-like feet.


  • Agile
  • Fast
  • Calm
  • Protective
  • Great work ethic
  • Friendly

Ideal Human Companion

  • Farmers & ranchers
  • Active singles
  • Outdoorsy types
  • Families

What They Are Like to Live With

Warm and even-tempered, the McNab differs from other herding breeds that might act a little skittish sometimes. It is a friendly and tolerant member of any household, getting along with everyone in the family, including children and other pets.

It is not only hardworking and dependable, it’s also very protective. With attuned senses and a keen intelligence, it has a watchful but restrained way when meeting strangers. Overall, the this dog is a handy helper with a heart of gold.

Things You Should Know

The McNab can live as long as 15 years with relatively few genetic health issues. Grooming does not take too much work: Just brush the coat regularly and bathe when necessary.

Probably not the best apartment dog, the McNab was bred to run, roam and work. If you don’t happen to live in a wide-open space, take it for long walks every day. They also appreciate having a protected field—with a lake or river, if possible—to run around in.


It is said that Alexander McNab, a rancher who relocated to California from Scotland in the mid-19th century, developed the McNab by crossing his Scottish-born Border Collie with various shepherd dogs. They were, and always have been, exemplary herders.