Everything You Need to Know About McNab Border Collie Mix Breed

The McNab dog, in relative terms to many other dog breeds, is a breed uncommonly originated in California. Its creation was due to following research into the encounter of the dingo with Scottish terriers that had unexpected outcomes. It also led to the breeding of these unique pups.

History of McNab Border Collie Mix

The McNab is a cross resulting from breeding a Scottish Collie and a Border Collie. It was in California where the breeding process took place and was performed by the McNab family. Alexander McNab, a Scottsman, went to his homeland in 1866, where he bought two Scotch Collies and took them back to the United States to run his ranch.

black and white coated dog on the outdoor

McNab crossed Scotch Collies with native Basque and English dogs to create a hybrid with a certain energy, stamina, and herding qualities as the Scotch Collies. However, the hybrid also had smoother coats that were more appropriate to the California environment.

He dubbed this new dog as McNab. (It is also popular at the names of McNab Border Collie, McNab Shepherd, McNab Sheepdog, and McNab Herding Dog). The McNabs garnered attention amid ranchers from these warm onset. In the sheep-herding area, the skills of a McNab put him as the most popular breed that excels in agility.

Moreover, the purpose of breeding a McNab dog was to have an extremely adaptable dog capable of doing a wide range of tasks. McNabs are popular for their willingness to work both outdoors and indoors. Yet, the breeding of this dog was only made by chance.

The appearance of McNab Dog Breed

The McNab Border Collie mix is a dog inside an athletic frame that is off-square — and nearly rectangular. The breed is somewhat longer than tall, with medium bone and sufficient weight without becoming heavy, spindly, or low-slung.


In terms of the coat of a McNab, it has a short, restrictive undercoat as well as a medium-length short, silky, weather-resistant topcoat that sits right to or slightly away from its body. However, their coat is never fluffy or entirely off-standing. The texture is gritty, dense, and shiny.

Traversing down the trail and across the neck, the coat is significantly longer, making a light collar. This dog breed may also have covered on the tail, rear of the back legs, and ears. The white patterns on the McNab’s coat might be clear but have some flaking.

The coat can be full, bi-color, or tri-color. They are usually black and white, although they are also available in red and white. Black, liver, brown, or even red are the available colors of the McNab dog.

Physical Attributes

The McNab is a herding dog that ranges in size from tiny to medium. They stand 20 to 25 inches in height and weigh 35 to 50 pounds.

Border collie looking up to his owner

These dogs have broad, robust backs, long, well-sprung rib cages, and powerful, sturdy, and toned hindquarters, which allow movement with stability, agility, and endurance. The McNab also features compressed oval-to-round feet, a medium-sized, muscular muzzle that tapers further towards the nose, and moderate, triangular ears set slightly out from their skulls. Its hazel, golden, or dark brown elongated eyes give these canines bright, attentive, and smart faces.

The personality of McNab Border Collie Mix

The McNab Border Collie is a multi-purpose herding dog with a reputation for brilliance, stamina, and obedience. One of the recognitions of this dog breed is its warm personality and calm temperament. The dogs are pretty friendly and protective of their owners. They have a pleasant disposition that makes them unthreatening to others who are around them.

a relaxed border collie

These dogs have a relatively high level of energy and are confident in learning commands. McNabs are very trainable and keep learning calmly and gently. Tenderness and intelligence are also notable characteristics of the McNab Border Collie mix making it learn how to help people in a variety of ways. This mix is simple to teach and the resulting McNab Border Collie makes an excellent family pet.

The McNab breed is normally peaceful, but when properly educated, it can get aggressive. It is not particularly tolerant of other dogs. Herding and guarding cattle is also a natural inclination in the McNab breed.

Health Condition of McNab Dog

The cross mix of McNab Border Collie has a life expectancy of about 12 to 14 years. Even though McNab dog health seems to be something that fur parents should be concerned about. Parasites, skin issues, and joint issues are the most prevalent issues.

McNab dogs may experience a prevalent health problem such as hip dysplasia. Eye disorders, like progressive retinal atrophy as well as cataracts, are also common in this dog breed. They may also have epilepsy, allergies, or skin problems.

A McNab dog may also experience the so-called Medication Sensitivity Type 1 (MDR1). A mutation in the MDR1 gene can cause a deficiency in a drug hydraulic protein that forms an important function in limiting medication uptake and dispersion (particularly to the brain).

Some regularly used drugs may cause significant adverse effects in canines with something like the MDR1 mutation.

McNab Health Issues Preventing Tips

As McNab Border Collie mix owner, it would be good to know that there are a few measures you can take to assist prevent these doggy health issues:

  • To begin with, ensure your McNab is eating high-quality dog food. This will assist to keep their complexion healthy and provide them with the nutrition they require.
  • Furthermore, get them a flea collar as well as a comb to help them from being bitten by fleas. This can assist in keeping your McNab clear of parasites and fleas, which are a common problem in dogs.
  • Finally, see your McNab’s veterinarian at least once every year. They will perform a blood test or even look not only for parasites but also for other infections. The vet can also assist your McNab if they have skin or hair coat problems.

Caring for the McNab Border Collie Breed

Taking care of Border Collie mixes, including the McNab, is not difficult. But, it is necessary to understand the breed before taking something into your home. These dogs were designed to work, so they require a lot of exercises and mental stimulation.

They’re also extremely intelligent and headstrong, so you’ll have to be stern with them. Because a McNab is not a lap dog, you will need to make sure they get enough activity.

Diet & Nutrition

To keep healthy and happy, McNabs require a well-balanced diet. Because their small body makes them susceptible to hyperactive dog breeds, you should consider their daily calorie intake when purchasing a puppy of this dog type.

It is important to feed the McNab Border Collie mix 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food per day. If you choose, you can feed them tiny chunks of meat plus vegetables somewhere between meals. Avoid offering these dogs treats or snacks because foodstuff like this can cause obesity, which is a prevalent problem among dogs of all breeds.


Grooming a McNab Border Collie mix is essential for keeping their coat healthy and tangle-free. Since McNabs have two coats of fur, they shed profusely twice a year. Therefore brushing their coats is a requirement regularly.

Moreover, give them a bath when required, as it might strip their fur of its natural oils. Brushing and combing the coat of a McNab once or twice a week will assist maintain their hair from matting.

Pay special attention to your McNab’s bottom and face when grooming them, as this area is frequently overlooked. Keeping your McNab’s teeth clean and brushed will help deter foul breath.


border collie on training

Training the McNab Border Collie the moment you have them is crucial if you bring home this kind of dog breed. Early training will prevent them from becoming unteachable later in life. The prey drive of the canine is vital for training, therefore train and develop the McNab as soon as possible to ensure a pleasant time for both you and your new pet.

Stick to a regimen when training the McNab dog and make sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation every day. Educate your McNab dog instructions from which they can see before hearing or that they can learn via training rewards.


While McNabs are inherently athletic and require some activity, owners may do a few efforts to make their dogs remain fit. To begin, keep in mind your McNab has enough space to run. It’s best to have a spacious yard or park.

Next, give your dog more than enough things to play with that involve physical exercise, including a ball or a Frisbee. Moreover, seek out occasions to engage in playtime with your dog. Bring them for walks, spend time with them, even if you’re feeling very fun, play fetch with your McNab.

Fun Facts about McNab Border Collie Mix Breed

The foregoing are some fun facts regarding the so-called McNab Border Collie mix breed that you might enjoy:

serious-faced border collie

  • The name “McNab” comes from a Scottish term that translates to “large dog.”
  • There is a wide range of sizes that a McNab may display. A puppy is the smallest size, and an adult is the largest size.
  • Miniature, the toy size, small, medium, as well as large sizes are the available sizes of the McNab dog.
  • Given the popularity in the United Kingdom, the McNab Border Collie mix is indeed very rare.
  • The development of the McNab in Scotland was due to its purpose as a huge sheep and livestock guard canine.

How to Find a McNab Breeder?

If you are planning to look for a breeder of this McNab dog, a Google search will yield results. Many websites identify breeders, and from there you can also look for puppy producers in your area. There are also McNab breeders online, but you’ll want to look into the breeder’s reputation.

Some breeders, for example, have closed their doors when their dogs start to fail temperament tests. If you buy a McNab through a breeder, the seller of the pack will inform you what kind of documents the dogs have or even how many duplicates of that documentation are on file.

Cost of a McNab Dog

The majority of McNabs cost between $700 to $1,000, although some can cost more or less relying on their genetics and breeding. Before choosing whether the investment is worth it, be sure you know exactly what records the dog has.

Is a McNab Breed the Right One for You?

Not everyone is a fan of McNab’s. Not all deserve a McNab. People who are truly fortunate and want to be loved by one are unique individuals. They recognize that it is unfair to devote literally decades to raising an animal to excel at specific tasks, only to try to shoehorn them into a society that does not value or support their skills.

The McNab Border Collie mix is one-of-a-kind and special breed with several characteristics that make it a popular choice among dog owners. McNab enjoys being active and involved. They are extremely devoted to and caring for their masters, which makes them excellent guard dogs.

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