McNab Shepherds are considered people-oriented dogs that are affectionate and sweet with people, if socialized and trained properly. Like any other herding breed specific dog, McNabs require daily exercise or some kind of athletic activity. The intelligence level of the breed tends to demand either an equally intelligent owner or a child’s willingness to be a member of the dogs pack.
Energetic and highly trainable, McNab Shepherds were bred for their ability to control and move herds of livestock. Although McNabs are still a favorite ranch dog, a large number of them never see a farm animal.
Some McNab owners notice their pet’s inclination to herd other dogs and become worried about the dog’s tendency to nudge or even nip at other dogs. However, these behaviors are not considered aggressive. They are normal herding instincts that run through the genetic lineage of the McNab.
Many trainers believe that the innate herding instinct of a herding dog needs to be satisfied in some way or it may develop into behavioral problems. A working McNab can run many miles a day, using its personality and intelligence to control challenging livestock, and these dogs can become bored and frustrated if left in isolation, ignored or inactive.
McNab Shepherds like mental stimulation in addition to regular exercise. Like other herding breeds, McNabs are happiest when they have a job to do. Owners who keep herding dogs as family pets may need to find special activities for their dog. For example, agility training can offer an excellent outlet for a McNab’s high intelligence and endless energy.
People seeking a low maintenance dog might want to look elsewhere. Like other herding breeds, McNabs need dedicated and involved owners with ample time to spend.
With the right training and pack leadership, McNabs make great family pets. They can have a playful nature with a fun-loving streak. They can be quite talented in agility, obedience, and tracking competitions. They have also proved to be capable working dogs, employed in search-and-rescue, service, and military/police work.
McNab Shepherds possess a remarkable loyalty, obedience and stamina. For active and enthusiastic owners, McNabs make some of the best canine companions available.