The contemporary McNab Shepherd is a dog that works and plays in every aspect of dog world. They still are the rancher’s best friend, but have found a prominent place as hunting dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, just to name a few.
McNab Shepherds excel in sporting activities as well. The dog sports of Flyball, Agility and Frisbee all utilize the speed and athletic ability of the McNab. Other activities like Lure Chasing and Dock Diving are also of great interest to a McNab. The following are a few of the sporting
Dog agility is a popular canine sport during which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as teeter-totters, tire jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and standard jumps. There are a number of reasons why McNabs excel at agility including their stamina, speed and willingness to please as well as their cat-like feet.
In competitive agility the handler’s goal is to navigate the dog through a course as quickly and as accurately as possible. The dog runs off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler is not allowed to touch the dog. The handler communicates with the dog using voice, movement and various body signals. The McNab’s exceptional athletic dexterity and high intelligence makes them ideal competitors in agility work.
K9 Nose Work
Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Nose Work is a search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs can partake in. It’s an activity that’s easy for a dog to learn, helps build confidence and focus, and provides a safe way to maintain fitness. Because the McNab is an active breed that likes to have a job to do, Nose Work can keep them healthy through mental and physical exercise.
K9 Nose Work starts with getting the dog excited about using his nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes. Once this is mastered, the game is expanded to entire rooms, exterior areas, as well as other spaces, such as vehicles. As the dog grows more confident with his nose, target odors are introduced, and competition skills are taught.
Flyball is a dog team sport in which a group of dogs race against each other from start to finish lines. Flyball is different from agility and obedience because the team consists of multiple dogs and humans.
In Flyball competition, each dog moves over a line of hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught by the dog after he presses the spring-loaded pad. The dog then carries the ball back to their handler and the next dog can start the course.
Although virtually any healthy dog can play, herding breeds like McNabs tend to excel at the sport because they are fast, accurate and have a good attitude. There are even different classes to accommodate different dogs, including a veteran’s class for dogs older than 7. Although Flyball is complex and challenging it’s also a lot of fun. To be successful, the teams must all work well together. In addition to doing something fun with their dogs, the camaraderie of other dog owners is enjoyable for the human team members.
Dog Frisbee completion has become so popular there are terms for the dogs such as Disc Dog and Frisbee Dog. In disc dog competitions, dogs and human throwing the discs compete in events such as distance catching and freestyle catching.
Disc work celebrates the communication and bond between handler and dog, by making them to work together as a team. The usage of the word “disc” is preferred because “Frisbee” is a trademark held by Wham-O Company for a brand of flying disc.
In disc work, the dogs normally used are medium sized and extremely agile. Herding breeds, like McNab Shepherds, have become the rising stars in recent competitions.
Disc work can be particularly demanding on a dog, primarily because of the high jumping. Many veterinarians recommend that dogs under 18 months of age should not be encouraged to leap as excessive leaping prior to growth plate closure can create problems in later years. Since growth plate closure typically occurs between 14 to 18 months of age, consult with your vet to be sure growth plates have closed before attempting airborne maneuvers with a young dog. These early months are a perfect time to establish obedience, socialization and disc groundwork.
Torch and Kirby Kirby McIlveen at the 2017 Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® National Finals – 1st Place Freestyle Flying Disc