‘NCIS’: Mark Harmon’s Dog Once Bit a Crew Member, Leading To a Star Leaving the Show

by Clayton Edwards

NCIS has been on the air for eighteen seasons. During that time, it has enthralled viewers around the world. At the same time, the show has produced several spinoff series. Mark Harmon has been both the star and the face of the show from the very beginning. He also serves as an executive producer on the flagship series.

The NCIS cast is famously tight-knit. On-screen the team works like a well-oiled machine. Behind the scenes, they are like a big family. So, it was shocking for many people to find out that a major falling out led to one fan-favorite character leaving the hit show. Pauley Perrette, who played Abby left the show after she expressed major problems with Mark Harmon’s on-set conduct.

However, many fans were unaware of the reason for her NCIS exit for quite some time. It all finally came out a couple of years after Perrette left the show. She didn’t pull any punches when she started opening up about her reasons for leaving the series.

How a Dog Bite Led Pauley Perrette to Leave NCIS

Pauley Perrette played Abby Sciuto on NCIS for fifteen seasons. Then, she suddenly left the show. She cited Harmon’s behavior on-set as well as an unsafe work environment for her exit. Apparently, Mark Harmon started bringing his dog, Dave, to the set.

Before long, Dave bit one of the crew members. It wasn’t just a little love bite, either. The crew member needed fifteen stitches to close the wound. Don’t think that Dave was a vicious bloodthirsty hellhound, though. The crew member was playing with Dave and got bit, according to Vanity Fair.

At that point, you would think Harmon would decide to leave Dave at home when he came to the NCIS set. After all, even if the bite was an accident, it was pretty severe. Instead, Harmon continued to bring his pooch to work with him. Some people, including Perrette, saw that as the star disregarding the safety of the cast and crew.  

Perrette and Harmon fell out because no one else would say anything about Dave’s presence to Harmon. After all, he was the star of the show as well as the executive producer. Perrette, on the other hand, had been there from the beginning. Her character’s popularity allowed her the pull to be able to stand up to Harmon.

From that day forward, the rift only grew between the NCIS leads. In fact, Perrette and Harmon didn’t actually appear in any scenes together in her final episodes of the series. When Gibbs and Abby had to scenes together, the stars would shoot their parts separately.