What Kind of Dog was in “Big Jake”? Was it a German Shepherd?

The dog in this Western Movie starring John Wayne was a “Rough Collie”. In the movie, the dog’s name is “Dog”.

“Dog” is killed by a bad guy with a machete at the end of the movie.

In real life, the dog’s name was “Laddie”. According to IMBD, Laddie was trained by Robert Weatherwax and Rudd Weatherwax.

Bob Weathermax was given a PATSY Award for the 1971 movie “Big Jake”.

PATSY stands for ‘Picture Animal Top Star of the Year’ or ‘Performing Animal Television Star of the Year’.

In 2012 Bob put the award up for consignment on ha.com here. Screenshot from the plaque:

Bob was also the owner and trainer of Lassie and the original owner and trainer of the first “Lassie” from the 1943 MGM film “Lassie Come Home” and a handler for collies in the CBS TV show “Lassie”.

I’m pretty sure Laddie was a decedent of Lassie.

Laddie was painted for his role in “Big Jake”.

19 Comments
  1. Beautiful dog xx

  2. He was loved, no doubt by John & those who wooked with him! 🐕❤

  3. Glad to see article thought he might have been a Belgium Shepard. Wonderfully trained. How could one not love that pup?

    • Yes, I would agree on that. He was definitely NOT a Rough Collie. He’s black. Collies do not come in that coat color.

      • The last sentence of the article says: “Laddie was painted for his role in “Big Jake”.”
        I just saw the movie again last night. Great Dog! His fur was the same length as my rough collie.

      • Painted black

      • You are wrong . The dog was a standard rough Collie . It was painted. Collies originally were black tan & white. The sable was bred into the bloodline in the 1800’s . And the size was increased . I have two standard rough coat Collies that are black, white & tan. AKC registered. Also have 3 standard rough coat Sable Collies . All are beautiful , intelligent dogs .they are a wonderful pet for a family, especially children.

      • He was a collie, painted black.

      • You did not do your homework because YES they do.

  4. Don’t forget the movie Hondo.

  5. Watching BIG JAKE right now, and “Dog” was not a Rough Collie, but did have a lot of Collie in him. He’s black and Rough Collies do not come in black. They are sable, tri or blue merle. Dog was extremely dark, looks almost solid black.

  6. The dog is smarter than the people posting on here, I don’t know what part of painting the dog they don’t understand so to put it as plan as possible the dog was painted black with black Krylon.

    • Just watched tonight on INSP. There are scenes where Dog is not dyed and you can see he is a Collie (Rough), I show dogs (terriers) and have been at this for 20 years. I also happen to know one of the top Collie (Smooth & Rough) breeders in the USA today. I was just surprised how poor the continuity was from scene to scene with the dye. I’m not surprised a Collie was used since the Weatherwax family was a top dog trainer for movies and TV at the time; Collies (Herding Group) just don’t have as strong a bite as a guard dog this was 1971. Today, a German Shepherd Dog or Rottweiler or Great Pyrenees (watch the Working Group on TV like Westminster Kennel Club dog show) might have been used, but, hopefully the selected dog would have been appropriate for the year (1909 for “Big Jake”). I do like this movie, saw it when it was first released.

  7. I thought at 1st was 1 of the long haire shepherd breeds like a Trueveren, then several seems wondered if they subbed a rough collie as the color changed. Later I could see it was same dog, with poor dye jobs in places. A shame as ppl like me notice & get distracted *** same if they switch horse/or head gear (bit, material on halters)
    Still great movie & Dogs performance has me cry every time

  8. Wow, that must make you smile each, and everyday having all of those no doubt beautiful magnificent collies👍😍💞I would love to see a picture of them.
    As a lifelong animal lover, and daughter of an exotic dog breeder, I never knew there was a sable coated rough Collie🤗

  9. I’m watching Big Jake now and I thought the mat Dig looked like Lassie in make up. No wonder!

  10. Australian Shepard?

Leave a Reply