Left: Leland Duncan with two of Rin-Tin-Tin’s descendants. Right: Rin-Tin-Tin, 1929.

Leland L Duncan

Leland Leroy “Lee” Duncan, 67, owner and trainer of the famous family of Rin-Tin-Tins, German shepherd dogs, died of a heart attack on September 20, 1960 at his ranch home, El Rancho Rin-Tin-Tin.” Duncan had lived in Riverside for 24 years.

In France at the close of World War I, Duncan rescued a litter of German shepherd dogs abandoned in the trenches by the retreating Germans and brought them back to the United States. One of the pups became the famous original Rin-Tin-Tin, who starred in 22 Warner Brothers films from 1922 until his death in 1932.

During World War II, Duncan trained more than 5,000 war dogs for the Army K-9 Corps at Camp Hahn, Riverside, California while continuing to train the descendants of the original Rin-Tin-Tin in successive Hollywood movie roles.

From 1954 to 1959, Rin-Tin-Tin IV starred in the television series, “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin.”