My name is Indigo and I got a McNab from Terry Garcin. I use her for Bird Abatement, we chase Seagulls away from many different environments also using Birds of prey to displace the nuisance birds. Four days a week I am staying in my trailer that sits on a friends ranch of 4 thousand acres... there are tributaries that run into a larger river which empties into a large bay. My dog is a water lover, as a puppy at Terry's ranch the dogs were introduced to water troughs to cool off...I guess I was lucky that my McNab always liked the water. I took her into a wading pool at home and played with her with toys and floating balls and always verbally reinforcing praise and with a treat when she would go in the water and fetch her toy...later I took her to an estuary and on a leash would walk her in the shallows to make her comfortable never rushing her into deeper water. If you rush your dog or throw them in the water you will ruin your dog from ever wanting to go near water for the fear you have instilled upon her. I found kind words of praise and reaffirming their confidence is long lasting. Not all dogs like the water. I recommend a dog leash,vest and a long leash when training your dog. In the shallows once your dog is playing with a ball etc. and you manage her to deeper water take your hand and place it under her so she doesn't just use her front feet to paddle with you want your dog to use all four legs to swim with. If she is already chasing Geese, her hearding instincts will take over but when the Geese seek safety they retreat to the water that's when your dog must enjoy the water with no fear...she will instinctively pursue the Geese making them uncomfortable and soon after take flight. My dog works with trained Falcons and Hawks, they are a team. I had a Border Collie that helped me trained my McNab. I found using a Shepards Whistle and hand signal to work for me...I found that sometimes the dog is at a distance so yelling is out....plus I never yell at my dogs in anger because they did not perform the task I asked of them or ever raise my hand to strike them....that is the quickest way to lose trust and love from you dog. Repeat the exercise...they will understand and get it sooner or later.... patience will turn to success...reward your dog with enthusiasm and kindness and your dog will love to work with you...but remember always be firm...I only use a few simple commands and hand signals....even if they are not the hearding dog forms of commands.... as long as you and your dog understand what you are asking that's all that matters....good luck with your McNab. I love my McNab beyond words and she is with me day and night...Terry Garcin has the best McNabs, she is the best in this field.
Such is the case when one day I was contacted through email by Christine from Better Days Dog Rescue located in Mesa, AZ. After she sent me photos and a description I verified that this dog looked like she had mcnab in her and that she needed out of the shelter ASAP, as in the photo you could see the forlone look of a distressed worried mcnabish canine. Christine got in touch with me by phone and I agreed to add the Mcnabish female rescue on to my website and FB pages in hopes to find her a forever home.
In the mean time I had had a conversation the day before with a friend whose husband had lost his beloved young dog from a reaction to medication prescribed for a condition. Keith was devastated at the sudden loss of his dog and his wife Marianne could only console him and tried convincing him to acquire another dog from a shelter possibly. No! Keith wouldn’t have any of it! He needed more grieving time and there was no replacing the dog he had just lost. I told her the next dog shold be a Mcnab and I happened to have puppies, But no, Keith wasn’t interested and if he were , he would want a young adult female.
I spoke with Christine about working out all the details of how to rescue the dog from the shelter. The local Better Days Rescue could get the dog out based on me taking responsibility for her. Nothing ventured, nothing gained I always say - here I go again….
The conversation I had with Marianne the day before came into my head and I started to wrap my brain around the fact that she said Keith would only accept an adult female dog back into his life if anything….
What the heck, I phoned Marianne to plant the seed. She re-iterated our conversation from the day before and I simply told her to just have Keith look at the dog's picture and get back to me. Okay, she agreed.
Next morning I received a call and Marianne was excited to tell me that Keith has a name for the dog - “Boomer”. Wow, I guess that means he wants her. I contacted the rescuer which started things in motion and within one week Boomer was spayed, vaccinated, bloodwork and stool samples were taken. She only one issue with giardia and all else was well.
From that point ” Pilots for Paws” was contacted and alerted that there is a re-home needing a ride from Mesa,AZ to Paso Robles, CA. Within a few days ‘Boomer’ had a ride with Pilot Bob, a retired doctor whose mission was to unite people with rescued pets.
The attached link tells the rest of the story in a beautiful slide show and the story does not end here.
Boomer: The Story of a Rescue
As it turned out, Boomer, who eventually settled into her new surroundings became ill one week after arrival. Marianne contacted me to let me know what was going on. It was a Sunday and Boomer had stopped eating and was drinking very little water, and had a cough. She was really tired and had taken to resting under their bed and being reclusive. She didn’t have much weight to start out with and now she was losing weight fast.
This was the last thing that Keith needed was to lose another dog. Even if he hadn’t bonded yet, it would be another blow! I told Marianne to take her to the vet, it sounds like Valley Fever, and keep me posted! Marianne had all the paper work that came with Boomer that showed she had been tested for Valley Fever and was negative. Doesn’t matter - mention it to your vet please!
Monday evening she called to say the vet is testing her for VF and it will take two weeks to get the results back and in the meantime they put her on a pain/anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics. She was eating better, until the next day she started throwing up her meals
Two weeks later and the results were back and Boomer had Valley Fever. Now she was going to have to start up on a long term expensive round of treatments. Keith and Marianne were becoming discouraged, this is not what they had hoped for…
In the meantime we both had been in touch with Christine, the rescuer. She followed through and found Bret the Vet. Bret happens to be doing a research project on Valley Fever.
As it turns out Boomer is the perfect candidate since she had been tested negative and 2 weeks later comes up with Valley Fever. This is ideal, she had newly acquired the disease, where most dogs have had it awhile before being diagnosed. Boomer is now enrolled in the research project and will be receiving the medication she needs to survive the infection. This research is also going to be used for human purposes to help with finding cures and effective medications for future use.
I’m particularly moved by the chain of events… since 15 years ago, I came down with Valley Fever and became deathly ill. It never goes away entirely and I will be interested in the results that come from this research project. We will be following up on Boomers progress and please pray for her full recovery.
"Angels conspire to inspire what is to transpire."
We recently received this report on one of our Feather/Styxx puppies:
I'm not sure what you gave us, but we couldn't be more impressed. She's mastered stairs, hasn't peed or pooped in the house and runs to the door when she needs to go. After sleeping with us by our heads, she's drifting down to our feet and now looks at her bed like it's the best place to be. Her independence is inspiring, yet she is a cuddle monster. I love letting her outside where she hunts worms, chews on Mullein and loves breaking off icicles. It's hard to get her cold, as that little furnace is on overtime as she tunnels through the snow. This breed is outstanding - she can nearly out-sprint me at just 8 weeks. I feel like I'm going to have to step up my game sooner than anticipated. We couldn't be happier! We had to go to town yesterday, and instead of pining when we left her alone, she curled up in her blanket and napped till we returned - then she greeted us with excited jumps and a waggly tail.
You have some seriously wonderful genetics in your clan, and we're so happy to have her. Thank you again . . .
Click photos to enlarge.
The Daily Journal, a Mendocino county newspaper recently published an article about the McNab shepherd (which originated in that area.) We are very glad to see them get recognition at the local level. We were interviewed and were delighted to be given the opportunity to share our part as breeders who strive to continue the heritage of these fine, versatile dogs. Here is the link where you can read all about it: "Meet Ukiah's Craft Canine: the McNab Shepherd" - click on the title.
As stated, one of my goals for this blog is to share knowledge of the breed and to promote what great dogs they are, with so much diversity, from working ranch dogs, to agility, to service dogs, to loyal companions, and more.
That is why we are sharing this article that comes from Bud Williams titled, Our McNabs. It is long and so interesting, beginning with the Williams' first encounter with these dogs in 1957. As they share their recollections, you will glean some of the history of how a number McNabs were developed. "Dean Witter, the owner of Lone Pine, imported several solid red Kelpies. These were crossed with the McNabs, and some very good dogs resulted. These cross-bred dogs were all black with very little white on them. However, little concern was given to breeding a McNab to a McNab. The only consideration was to breed a good working bitch to a good working dog, no matter what they looked like. At this time, in Northern California, a “McNab” was any short-haired stock dog that had a very strong go-to-the-lead instinct. They had no “eye” and were very tough and strong willed."
Head on over for a fascinating read, along with pictures of some McNabs from the past
It took me a year of puppy hunting before I found Garcin Stock Dogs and puppy Boomer. I wanted just the right puppy for my competitive activities of Competition Obedience, K9 Nose Work, and at the time, I wanted to do competition tracking. Teri matched me with a perfect puppy, Boomer. I took Boomer home and we hit the ground running.
Now Boomer is 1.5 years old, he’s 22 inches at the shoulder, and he weighs about 42 pounds. He’s incredibly athletic, light on his feet, and he’s tireless.
Boomer now trains and has started competing in K9 Nose Work and Competition Obedience. The tracking didn’t happen yet, because when he was three months old, I thought just for giggles, I’d take him for a herding instinct test on sheep.
Was he keen on herding? Oh my goodness, was he ever keen. Our first herding lessons mostly consisted of Boomer running in large circles around the sheep and pinning them and me in the middle. My instructor, Joyce Shepherd, would be yelling at me “MOVE! Ann MOVE!” Other commentary from Joyce were things like, “This is ridiculous”, and, “Well Boomer is great - and you’ll eventually get the hang of it too Ann”. Yep, we had some wild times…
Boomer developed a nickname while herding, “Root’n Toot’n Boomer”. But, with patience and a sense of humor, Joyce has brought us along and now Boomer only gets Root’n Toot’n with the sheep when he needs to. We can herd up to 10 sheep, and do things like pen them, move them through a chute, bring them out of pens with control, move through panels, and Boomer can fetch the sheep and bring them to me. Pretty darn good for a 1.5 year pup and his clueless novice handler!
Boomer really likes to use his nose. Even as a young puppy, a favorite house game was for me to hide his toys so he could find them. He is good at K9 nose work . He’s already passed his Odor Recognition Testing so that he can start competing in K9 Nose Work trials.
Boomer gets totally jazzed at the competition obedience trials, at classes, and show-preps. His drive and work ethic make him ideal for this activity. He’s coming along nicely and he'll be a great competitor when he's mature enough to go full steam ahead in this high-intensity sport.
Other than that, we are out on the trails daily for our morning workouts which keep him fit and happy. At home, he enjoys life as a pampered suburban house dog. He and my other dog play every day racing and wrestling around out on the back deck and lawn.
Thanks Teri and Justy for this wonderful pup!
This came recently from one of our Happy Owners:
Just wanted to give you an update after a week with Luna home with us. She is totally the most amazing animal I have ever known. She is SO smart, loving, "with it", "on purpose", and just a total delight. She is learning very quickly, lets us know for the most part when she needs to go outside, though bathroom accidents still happen inside - we take her out so she doesn't have to tell us. She is sleeping really well, now only needing to go out once during the night. She comes to her name, sits, lies down, gets her ball and brings it back - and she is only 8 weeks old! Puppy class starts on Monday and I am sure she will have a blast!
She is adapting to her crate well, eating like a champ now - her appetite has really kicked in. She LOVES to be outside with Peter and our farm apprentices (WWOOFERS - World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) as they work in the garden. While they are weeding and planting, she is exploring, nibbling on the good, edible plants, and playing. And she is so social - loves to meet new people.
I do have to say that I am totally scraped up by puppy teeth - so that now I am wearing long, elbow length, black calfskin gloves that belonged to my dear departed Mama to protect myself when we play together.
We just couldn't be luckier than to have her in our family!
Merry Chrismas! As my husband and I are sitting here warming up and drying off from checking fences this morning in beautiful but cold and wet western Washington, we thought we would share some photos we took of Stirling (Nellie/Cinch) this morning. We've had him for just over a few days over a year and he's been such a blessing - and such an amazing gift to us last year around Christmas this year . . . nothing can top him!
He's still got a lot of maturing to do, but I have honestly not been around a more well mannered and even tempered one year old intact dog in my life. I'm certain that a good deal of that is genetic. We continue to work daily on obedience and agility - I hope to start competing a little more seriously come spring. He also is helping us with the stock while our old man border collie with the bad back continues to heal. One of these days I will film Stirling's out run for you . . . I wish I could take credit for training it but it's a thing of God given talent and a beauty to behold!
But even the simpler stuff, like this morning checking fences - super wet and cold and yet there he was, stride for stride with us, not lacking even the slightest bit of enthusiasm wading through chest deep cold water to keep up and was downright thrilled to be doing so. Just keeps me so impressed with him and the dogs you are producing. Thanks again, Teri!
Ashley and Dru
When I first reached out to you about a puppy (from the Nellie and Cinch litter) last year I told you about my old male Mcnab, now almost 11, with a previous back injury. Well, about 3 months ago he had a very serious relapse and was completely paralyzed for over a month. We had some very tough decisions to make between surgery, alternative therapies, and even considered putting him down - but ultimately at this time he is very close to being able to walk unaided again without surgery.
I only share this because at the time you recommended Rapid Response to us and I just really wanted to thank you. I think it has really helped aid his healing process in a variety of ways, as well as our 13 year old border collie X and some of her old lady stiffness.
With my old dog completely out of commission and on 100% crate rest, Stirling has had to pick up more responsibility around here - and he certainly isn't letting me down! He's completely excelled at everything I've asked him to do to help us move our sheep and cattle around our property, which is amazing considering his age, and how little "formal" training I've put into him.
As goofy and joyful he is in the home, he's all business when we're out there with stock - so solid and responsive and level-headed. My old dog was a handful, so hard to control on stock at Stirling's age, and didn't really mature until well after 18 months old. But Stirling is just such a natural talent - runs so much on instinct, and most of the time he's right - bold when appropriate but most of the time, pretty quiet and steady.
He's just a joy to work with. He pretty much learns a new trick every week (he could probably learn one every night if I had the time.) He has appointed himself the gate supervisor at our horse shows, been out on several long distance endurance rides and hasn't missed a step or faltered. He has all but mastered almost every agility obstacle and is now working on chaining them all together, and has started to do some basic tracking training.
And even after a long day of all that, still brings us the stuffed squeaky chicken and drops it in our laps and looks like, "What, you don't want to play anymore?" We continue to be impressed and pleased with him in every way. Thanks again, Teri.
I'm Teri Garcin and I breed McNab collies. I want to share my love and knowledge of the breed and help promote to the world what great dogs they are. Please share your own knowledge here as we come together to support this awesome breed, the McNab!
Blue Dog In this excerpt from Daily Guideposts 2013, a rancher touts the loyal readiness of her McNab cow dog.
Teri's Homemade Dog Food Recipe