2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
McNab Dog Breed Has Tremendous Herding Skills
Weighing between 40 and 50 lbs., the highly trainable McNabs are supreme herding dogs with an ability to lead livestock from the front of the herd or drive them from the back. McNabs are known for the excellent endurance required for long days in difficult conditions.
“One dog can handle about 50 head of cattle at a time, or a team of 3 or 4 dogs can easily herd around 300 head for a day,” says Alvina Butti, president of the McNab Shepherd Registry. This medium-size dog is typically black or red with white feet, face and belly, but it can also be tri-colored, or just black, with a short coat.
McNab dogs can also vary in ear structure. Their ear shape is always a perfect triangle, but the ears could stand up at attention, hang down loosely, or anything in between.
When its work is done, a McNab will still have enough stamina to be a playful and loyal family pet. “They’re very protective of their family and home,” says Butti. The breed is known to generally be in good health with few genetic health issues. Their life span is 10 to15 years.
Although the McNab breed has been around for about 150 years, its official registry began in 2014. The registry works to uphold and preserve the breed for generations to come.
Because McNabs are becoming more geographically wide spread, people are finding more ways to put their energy and intelligence to good use. They’re helping with service and therapy, search and rescue, evidence, archaeology and many dog sports. McNabs are ideal for herding cattle and can also herd geese, goats, sheep, llamas and horses. “They are the most versatile working dog breed there is,” says Butti, “and people can train them to do more than one of these tasks at a time. They’re brilliant.”
Currently there are about 15 registered McNab breeders in the western U.S., in Colorado, Montana, Texas and Florida. McNab pups typically cost from $600 to $800.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alvina Butti, McNab Shepherd Registry, Inc., P.O. Box 258, Jefferson, Colo. 80456 (www.mcnabshepherdregistry.com).
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