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Here's why Family Affair's Sebastian Cabot didn't like working with dogs

The 1966 series Family Affair was simple, yet heartwarming and featured a dynamic cast who gave memorable performances throughout the five seasons it was on-air.

Many viewers who watched Family Affair may have experienced a slight case of deja vu. This is because Family Affair was produced by an already-successful industry giant, Don Fedderson. 

Fedderson was the producer of My Three Sons, which came out in 1960, six years before Family Affair. So, when Family Affair premiered, a lot of fans drew comparisons between the two series. 

Both series featured unconventional family structures, important parental figures, and similar tones and themes. However, with all of the similarities, it's important to point out one major difference: the lack of a family dog. 

According to a 1966 interview with The Courier, Sebastian Cabot, who played the role of the family butler on Family Affair, said no dog was no problem. In fact, he preferred it that way.

Before Cabot played the role of the kind and endearing British butler, he had another role as Dr. Carl Hyatt in the 1960 series, Checkmate. In the series, Cabot's character owned a dog that put his love for animals to the test. 

"They hate me," Cabot said. "They run the other way."

In the interview, Cabot said there is a lack of mutual chemistry between him and animals. He said he was even bit by the dog during his time on the series. Luckily, Family Affair didn't have a dog, just a few kids that Cabot's character needed to train. 

His on-screen kid co-stars included Buffy Davis (Anissa Jones), Jody Davis (Johnny Whitaker), and Cissy Davis (Kathy Garver). 

Although Cabot loved the kids he worked with on Family Affair, and had a few kids of his own at home, he said working with children as an actor was something he found challenging.

"Of course, it's difficult to act with children," Cabot said. "The more honest you are, the better you are in a scene with them. These are nice children and they've all had a good bit of experience."

Despite the challenges of working with child actors, nothing will be as "ruff" as working with a dog for Cabot. 

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