Love That Pup is a 1949 Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Spike is sleeping beside his son Tyke when Tyke suddenly wakes up after a nightmare. Then Spike gives his son milk and comforts him back to sleep again. No sooner has Tyke dozed off again than Tom and Jerry enter the scene. Tom runs through a door (literally) and into some spades, rakes and hoes, as Jerry hides among the two dogs. To find Jerry, Tom picks Tyke up to look underneath the puppy. Spike yells out "Hey, you! That's my boy you got in your hand!"
Tom holds up his right hand and sees nothing, then holds up his left hand, and drops Tyke in fear. Tom smiles nervously and attempts to escape, but Spike grabs Tom's whiskers before he can and gives him an ultimatum: "Listen pussycat. If I catch you bothering my boy again, I'll tear you apart! Now beat it!" Spike then releases him and Tom flees, crashing into (in turn) a tree, a birdbath, a clothesline hanger and then into a trash can.
Jerry emerges from Tyke's ear and walks off casually until Tom comes running back. Jerry takes cover by diving into what appears to be Spike's jaw, but he really ducked under the dog's chin. Seeing the dog smack his lips as if having eaten the mouse, Tom then places his hand carefully in Spike's mouth while the dog is sleeping, and Jerry emerges from his hiding place and slams the bulldog's jaws shut with Tom's hand still inside Spike's mouth. Tom yells in pain and leaps a meter back. Spike wakes up as Tom struggles to get his hand out of his mouth, pulling Spike's teeth out in the process. Tom smiles innocently again, and uses Spike's teeth as castanets while doing a Flamenco dance (while clicking to the tune of "The Mexican Hat Dance") out of the scene and runs away, dropping the teeth on the bucket.
A few moments later, Tom spies Jerry sleeping next to Tyke, now using the dogs as shields. Hiding behind Tyke's dog house, he reaches out for Jerry. Jerry quietly moves Tyke's tail into Tom's grip, so that Tom ends up grabbing Tyke. After running off with the little pup, Tom realizes his mistake. He turns around to see a sleeping Spike feeling for Tyke. Tom rushes back into Tyke's place, taking on the role of Tyke. To wake up the dog, Jerry then lifts up Tyke's kennel and slams it on Tom's tail, causing Tom to scream in pain. Spike, mistaking Tom as Tyke, picks him up and pats him on the back as he says "There there, son. Ain't no cat gonna hurt you... no sir", still thinking that he is holding Tyke's tail. Just then, Tyke walks back onto the scene and whimpers. Spike looks at Tom suspiciously. Tom duplicates Tyke's whimpering and barking, but accidentally meows when he tries to duplicate his growl. Spike scowls angrily and ferociously at Tom until he clamps his jaws on the dog's nose and runs away, causing the dog to scream in pain. Tom takes a detour to the side, sets up a rake for the dog to run into if he follows him, and then watches as Spike takes the original route. Knowing he has lost his opponent, he runs back through the detour, but forgets about the rake which ends up slamming him in the face.
Tom finally realizes that in order to get Jerry, Spike, who is effectively Jerry's shield, has to be removed from the picture. He does this by dangling a large piece of T-bone steak from a clothesline. A sleeping Spike, holding a shotgun in his arms, senses the delectable piece of meat, and sleepwalks after the steak. Jerry, who had tied himself to Tyke as a precautionary measure, is privy to what Tom is trying to accomplish. All of Jerry's efforts to wake up the mesmerized dog fail, and he ends up getting literally flattened. Tom successfully locks Spike in a garden shed. An evil Tom smiles at Jerry. The horrified Jerry runs; Tom knows he could now attack Jerry without his overprotective shield.
Tom catches Jerry, trapping him inside an upturned barrel and hammering a cork in its knothole. However, without Tom noticing, Jerry escapes through the side of the barrel as a free trap area and puts Tyke under the barrel instead. Spike busts himself out of the shed by ripping off the whole front facade, and under the impression the cat has been at Tyke again, he rushes up to Tom angrily and demands to know where his son is ("Where's my boy!? If he's under that barrel, I'll skin ya alive!"), threatening to skin the cat alive if he sees Tyke underneath the barrel. Tom confidently starts to lift up the barrel, still thinking that it is Jerry who is trapped under there until he hears a whistle behind him, and looks to his side to see Jerry lying on top of a nearby fence, waving to him. Tom gulps twice in fear, realizing that he is in serious trouble. Spike orders Tom to lift the barrel up. Shivering, Tom nervously attempts to lift the barrel, but just as he does Spike impatiently snatches it up and finds Tyke lying underneath it, happily wagging his tail at his father. Without a word, Tom makes a quick exit while smashing into the tree, birdbath, and clothesline, but instead of the trash can he is stopped by the bulldog's fist. Tom quickly backs away trying to escape, but Spike corners him and attacks him off-screen. The cat emits loud screams of pain while Spike is clobbering him.
Later at night, Tom has been literally skinned alive by Spike and he is wearing an armor-plated barrel to cover the disappearance of his fur. While standing outside the gate, having been assigned by Spike to guard them with a baseball bat, he looks through the hole in the wall and finds that his fur is being used as a cozy rug by the sleeping Spike, Tyke, and Jerry, who hangs a "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on Spike's ear before falling asleep.
- If you look closely at the title card in the start of the cartoon, you will see that it is shaking a bit. This occurs in both the unrestored and Turner prints.
- This is one of the few cartoons where Jerry successfully framed Tom for bothering and messing up Spike and Tyke.
- This is the first cartoon to have Daws Butler (in the style of Jimmy Durante) voice Spike. He would continue to voice Spike until his last vocal appearance in Tom's Photo Finish.
- A remake, Tops with Pops, was released in 1957, which uses the same audio, but recorded by Perspecta Sound and Westrex Recording System.
- This is the only cartoon in the classic era where Tyke has light grey fur.
- The opening theme of Scott Bradley's score "Love That Pup" was re-used as the opening theme for many more subsequent shorts. Many other shorts either opened with contemporary pop songs (both vocal and instrumental) or themes from other MGM Cartoons.