Pete the Pup or Petey was a character in a series of short comedy films by Hal Roach entitled ‘Our Gang’. Petey has also appeared in the 1994 film remake titled ‘The Little Rascals’ and the 2014 film ‘The Little Rascals Save the Day’. The character has been portrayed by several different dogs over the years but was mainly portrayed by two dogs. So, what kind of dog is Petey for these films?
The original was named Pal the Wonder Dog and the one that followed was an offspring of Pal named Lucenay’s Peter. One of the character’s well-known characteristics was having a circle around his eye. The Original Petey had a nearly complete ring around his right eye and dye was used to finish it, while the second Petey was a mirrored image of his father having the ring on his left eye instead.
Pal the Wonder Dog which was an American Pit Bull Terrier and Lucenay’s Peter which was a Staffordshire Terrier played the part of Petey. Both of these portrayals were for ‘Our Gang’. When Pal died in 1930, his offspring Peter took over the mantle soon after.
For the film remakes, an American Bulldog played Petey for the 1994 film while a Mutt played the character in the 2014 film.
We now look at the different Breeds and characteristics of dogs that have portrayed Petey.
American Pit Bull Terriers are an intelligent and short-haired dog breed with a solid build. They are medium-sized with a single coat that is smooth and thin. They excel when it comes to many dog sports which are attributed to their strength, agility, and confidence, this makes them easy to train with their high level of intelligence as well as their eager sense to please.
The Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a medium-sized British breed with a short coat that is smooth, short, and close. They are great family pets as they are considered to be loyal and affectionate and are even recommended for families by the Kennel Club, though they do have a reputation of not backing down when being challenged by another dog.
American Bulldogs are well-built and strong-looking dogs. They are large and are mainly used as Utility Dogs for animal farms and dog sports. They are lively dogs that share a strong bond with their owners, their confidence and social nature make them great for families though they are known for destroying furniture if left alone for too long.
Pal the Wonder Dog initially made an appearance in the film ‘The Freshman’, in 1925 and then started as “Tige” in the Buster Brown series in the 1920s where he acquired his titular circled eye which would make him synonymous with the ‘Our Gang’ Series. Pal, unfortunately, was allegedly poisoned and died in 1930 and was replaced by his offspring, Peter. After their trainer and owner Harry Luceny was fired from the series, he retired Peter and the character was then played by various unrelated dogs.
Personally, I do not think any dog matches Petey better. Ironically, the different breeds that have portrayed Petey come together to encompass who Petey was and will always be. A fun-loving dog that’s always a joy to watch. Petey will always be fondly remembered.