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Through History

This website is about the history of the McNab Shepherd. 


It is not about the McNab herding style that sets it apart from a Border Collie. It is not about breed production or results of how the dog is bred now. 


The McNab Shepherd Historical Society is about the historical documentation of this breed and how it has made its mark on Northern California humanity since the late 1800s. 


On this page, you will find a walk down McNab Memory Lane. This is a gallery of the compilation of McNab news articles, sheep dog trials, and human-interest stories that exist since 1899, almost 120 years.


Look for the hobo McNab called "Hobo" that ruled the community of Bucksport. You will see photos through the decades that will show you the conformation of the McNab Shepherd in the last 60 years.  You will read, from an 11 year-old girl, a fictional story called "A Brave Dog" she authored about her McNab, Trouble, and sent to the Oakland Tribune’s feature on pets of children. A full-page story in the Press Democrat Sports Section about Sonoma County Supervisor’s hunting wild hogs with their McNabs, particularly one named “Snuffy”, and the tenacity and danger involved for the McNabs. Most relevant, endless notices and stories on Sheep Dog trials from Mendocino to Napa and Sonoma County, an important process in the development of the breed. A U.S. Marine in 1944 worried about the McNab he left behind when he shipped out for the Pacific Theatre of WWII and how his dog was randomly attacked. The variety and eclecticism of this gallery represent the McNab Shepherd and why we so love this humble breed.


This is not a narrative of fiction, but articles of history that tell the history of the longevity of the breed, how it was revered and is known. Each little story will evoke in the reader “yes that is like my McNab” or “isn’t that just like a McNab." For those who worked with McNabs in agriculture, it will reinforce how instrumental the McNab is in stock work. At the same time, it tells the story of this hard-working shepherd giving pride and pleasure to the owners in ranch competitions for the best dog. These competitions became the backbone of and facilitated the informal rancher-to-rancher breeding programs that created the McNab and kept it a viable breed. 


The McNab Shepherd’s story is also the story of the people in Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties during a certain time. It portrays their work ethic, their challenges, how they got the job done, and the fellowship among the agricultural community that recognized a gem in the McNab Shepherd. This iconic dog is woven into our personal histories of growing up in this beautiful area of Northern California and the memories we have of life as we knew it at that time.

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