There are numerous reports/articles and blog posts about Petey the Our Gang dog. here are a few:
Pete the Pup (September 6, 1929- January 28, 1946) was a Pit Bull character in Hal Roach’s Our Gang comedies (later known as The Little Rascals) during the 1920s and 1930s. Otherwise known as “Pete, the Dog With the Ring Around His Eye”, or simply “Petey”, he was well-known for having a circled eye that was added on by Hollywood make-up artist Max Factor and credited as an oddity in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The original Pete (sired by Earl Tudor’s “Black Jack”) was an American Pit Bull Terrier named “Pal the Wonder Dog”, and had a natural ring almost completely around his eye; dye was used to finish it off.
When he was about six months old, Pal the Wonder Dog made a cameo appearance in the Harold Lloyd film The Freshman, in 1925.
Pal first started out as “Tige” in the Buster Brown series in the 1920s. It was during this time that he obtained the circled eye, and when he was recruited to appear in the Our Gang comedies later that year, Hal Roach simply left it on, creating one of the most recognized dogs in film history. In the 1994 remake of The Little Rascals, the new Pete is an American Bulldog.
Trainer and owner Lt. Harry Lucenay used one of Pal’s offspring as Pete in the series after Pal was poisoned and died in 1930 . This dog, named “Lucenay’s Peter”, was registered as an AKC American Staffordshire Terrier. Lucenay’s Peter was born September 6, 1929 in New York City, bred by A. A. Keller. The dog was also UKC registered under the name Purple Ribbon Peter (22558). A few other dogs played Petey, but Lucenay’s Peter was the best known. After being fired from the Our Gang series in 1932, Harry Lucenay retired Peter to Atlantic City, where he was photographed with children at the Steel Pier. Roach used a number of unrelated Pit Bulls to portray Pete in Our Gang until 1938. Lucenay’s Peter continued on and died of old age on January 28, 1946 in Los Angeles, California at age 16, two years after the Our Gang series ended.
Petey (Pal) was a typical American Pit Bull Terrier not the mean vicious killing machine touted in the headlines today. Any dog who could put up with the shenanigans of Our Gang/Little Rascals had to be a saint. Petey is always described as a gentle, loving creature. He is fondly remembered by cast members, Hal Roach and former owner/trainer, Harry Lucenay.
While many Pit Bulls can be aggressive towards other DOGS (as are most terriers), the normal, well raised Pit Bull has NO human-aggressive tendencies because human-aggression was actually bred out of the breed. They LOVE people and especially love kids. The majority of Pit Bulls are affectionate, intelligent, trainable dogs. In fact, the highest obedience trial record of all time is held by an American Pit Bull Terrier named Maddy.
Petey played Tige in the silent Buster Brown Movies and was Petey in the Our Gang serials during the 1920s. Petey actually appeared in 14 feature film between 1921 and 1927 before becoming the famous Petey in the Our Gang series.He is recognized for his white body complete with the ring around his eye. It is a dye job gone wrong, a mark drawn by the famous Max Factor or an actual skin abnormality. In some instances, it appears to be both.
Petey never received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was also never the highest paid canine star. His career and life ended in 1930. One version has him poisoned by someone who hated Lucenay. Another version says Petey died of old age. One other mystery is his final resting place. Does he lie in Aspin, Maryland or in Calibasas, California? Like so many dog stars before and since, there has been more than one dog to play the role. Until the late 1930s, the Peteys used were sons of the original.
• Buster Brown,
• Our Gang.
The most asked question about Pete is: “Where’d he get that ring around his eye?” In the book: ‘A Peek at the Past’ Jean Darling writes: “Something else I don’t understand is why “Pete the Pup” is used in cast listings of comedies made during my time on the lot. The first Pete joined “Our Gang” for one reason only. He had been born with a black ring three-quarters of the way around his eye. This marking was so unique it became a much advertized feature of “Our Gang” and he was always referred to as Pete, the-dog-with-the-ring-around-his-eye, especially when the circle had been enhanced with a bit of hair dye on the tip of a paint brush wielded by the deft hand of his trainer.
Hal Roach hired a then unknown artist to complete the circle around Pete’s eye, his name was Max Factor, he went on to become one of Hollywood’s most celebrated makeup artists.
The ring around Pete’s eye was such an oddity that it became certified by Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
The most famous was named Lucenay’s Peter who was whelped Sept 6, 1929, he was bred by A.A. Keller, his owner/ trainer was Lt. Harry Lucenay who was fired after a couple years and a new bloodline was introduced.
Petey was signed in 1929 to a three-year contract with six months options. His starting salary was $125 per week, which would be raised in increments of $25 per week to make him exclusive to Hal Roach studios.(from Cult Movies Magazine)
Petes mother and father both were seen in episodes of the Our Gang Comedies. I beleive the dog seen on page 19 of Leonard Maltin’s “Life and Times of the Our Gang” book was Pansy, Lucenay’s Peter’s mother, his father was Pal the Wonder Dog (the first Pete).
Lucenays Peter was a Pitbull, he was duel regestered as an AKC Staffordshire Terrier and as a UKC APBT (1941) Reg. 22558. This Pete died in 1946.
The first Pete was already an established actor before his Our Gang fame. He was called Pal the Wonder Dog and starred as Buster Browns dog Tige where he first obtained that cRaZy ring around his eye. The ring was made with permanent dye, so Hal Roach had no choice but to accept Petey as he was. (Cult Movies)
Pete was also in featured films! He was in Harold Lloyd’s “The Freshman” (1923), Fatty Arbuckles pal in “Buzzin’ Around” and was seen with Stan Laurel in “Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride”.
He was also seen in Paramount’s “Broadway Highlights” newsreel where he was seen with a mug of beer as he was initiated into “The Lambs Club”.
In 1993 a new Petey reintroduced a new generation of children to Spanky and the Gang in a movie called “The Little Rascals”.
Only two dogs have Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Didja guess?? Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. Would be nice to see Petie there also;)
The book also gives credit to Pete “Pansy” the Pup on page 64 in “Playing Hooky”. Pansy was Lucenay’s Peter’s mother. Was the dog in this episode the real Pansy? OR if you read the storyline was Pansy just the name of the dog in that episode played by Pete (Pal)?
Pete (Pal) was also in the very first episode of Our Gang where he’s listed as ‘Pete the Dog’.(IMDB – International Movie Data Base)
Petey was in a total of 77 Our Gang Comedies, Pal the Wonder Dog was in 13 of these during the silent era.
Three other Pete the Pups are out there unrelated to our favorite pooch. One was seen in cartoon form on “Scooby Doo, Where Are You.” Another was a cartoon from an “ABC WEEKEND SPECIALS” called “The Puppy Saves the Circus” in the 1980’s. The third is a wooden puppet found on eBay’s Auctions when putting keyword: Pete the Pup in their Search Engine. He was from a 1920’s cartoon called Pete the Pup, after the cartoons demise Hal Roach created his own version of the dog for Our Gang. My question is, Was Hal Roach inspired by this cartoon character to create Petey?
My beleif is that as many as 10 different dogs played the role of a Pete the Pup, I’m also including the dog who was in the 1990’s Little Rascals movie and the 1920’s cartoon who I beleive he was based on.
In 1936 Pete once again joined Our Gang, but for a personal appearance tour.(Cult Movies)
Lucenay’s Peter went on special tours across America meeting children for photograph sessions (see photos). He was often seen at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City N.J. This was the second dog to play Pete, Harry Lucenay after being fired from the Hal Roach Studios obviously cashed in on Pete’s fame. Ohhhh… what a joy it must’ve been to meet Pete.