The McNab body types vary from thick to lean and leggy. His body is generally muscular, especially the upper thigh. The flank is tucked up tight while the back is especially strong and straight. The chest is well developed, yet in balance to the rest of his body. The heart girth is very deep. The head rests beautifully upon a graceful neck and is bold but never heavy. Muzzles are medium to slightly long in length, black puppies can be born with pink and black noses, usually changing to all black, where the red puppies are born with solid brown noses. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. Eyes are almond shaped, intelligent, and expressive.
Eye color will vary with coat color, red coated puppies can start with blue eyes turning to amber, black coated puppies can start with blue eyes turning brown.
The ears range from partial up to fully erect are of medium size with a keen appearance.
McNab is noted for his clean straight legs and especially his cat-like foot and upright pastern.
McNabs tails can be long or docked (some are born with a natural bobbed tail), some people prefer a long tail as they feel it aids in balance acting as a rudder.
When viewing the dog as a whole, they do not appear short, nor the body Squatty and thick. Rather, the McNab appears sleek yet strong, with a good balance of leg under him. His appearance suggests swiftness, and agility, a dog fit for a long day’s work.
McNab dogs quite simply love their people and are not at all independent of their handlers wishes. They are generally easy to train due to their keen intelligence and willingness to please. I would say they have a medium temperament meaning they will respond to strong discipline as well as praise. They are not usually hard-headed, taking a heavy hand to make an impression. They are devoted family members. Most McNabs I have raised prefer to be with you rather than off doing something else. They make excellent companions, even in a total absence of stock work. Raised with frequent Outside visitors, they learn to accept people. They are content with a minimum of babying yet will blossom with human input. Their attachment to people cannot be stressed enough. They love going and doing, whether working, cutting wood, feeding hay, driving into town or playing with the children.
To sum it up, McNabs are athletic, hard-working dogs, loyal, intelligent and easily trained. They are superb working stock dogs, hunting dogs, sport dogs and companions.
Note that the McNab owns you and everything you own. They are so intelligent they will learn everything you teach them; the good and the bad.”
This breed description was written by Donna Sigmund, circa 1979, at home on her typewriter and shared with Alvina Butti. Together, their work and dedication to the McNab breed was so profound that their knowledge and breed contribution became the standard upon which future McNab breeders based their dogs. In our quest to conserve The McNab, TMSF has adapted this as the formal breed standard by which we shall adhere.
Furthermore, it has long since been understood and accepted The McNab is a landrace breed and The McNab Stockdog Foundation recognizes them as such.