Prior to the Lassie TV show, Bob's father Rudd made movie history by showing the world a dog who could literally act.
With seven feature films under his belt, Lassie "Pal" taught the world lessons in loyalty, friendship, and love. Rudd continued this with the relatively new medium of the time, television, where families watched Lassie every Sunday night.
Most people think that this father-son team only trained one collie. Rudd had a large body of work beginning in the silent film era. He was a stunt double for Mary Pickford, trained "Petey", the pit bull mix in the “Our Gang” comedies, "Asta", the wire-haired terrier in "The Thin Man" series,and "Daisy" from the "Blondie" movies.
Rudd’s brothers also trained some of the most famous Hollywood dogs - his Uncle Jack Weatherwax trained "Toto", the cairn terrier in "The Wizard of Oz". His Uncle Frank Weatherwax trained the most famous yellow dog in the world, "Old Yeller", a lab/mastiff mix. Frank Inn was Bob's father’s protégé whose little dog "Higgins", of Petticoat Junction fame, went on to become “Benji”.
Bob has never forgotten his roots and his boyhood days of caring for over 40 dogs in his father’s kennel. They were his responsibility every day, 7 days a week - before and after school, weekends, holidays. He credits these early days with giving him the foundation of the values and hard work which he has followed throughout his life. He had the unique opportunity of learning every aspect of a dog’s life firsthand under the guidance of his father.
The profession he followed also took him to places outside of Hollywood such as The White House where Mrs. Lyndon Johnson used Lassie as the “spokesdog” for her ‘Keep America Beautiful” anti-littering campaign.
Some of Bob’s other credits include:
Back to the Future, Skeezer, The Thing, Moment by Moment, Big Jake, The Magic of Lassie, Lassie: Best Friends are Forever.