What Kind of a Dog is Hooch from 'Turner and Hooch'?

Posted by Christy Caplan

The Dogue de Bordeaux (a.k.a. French Mastiff), starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1989 comedy 'Turner and Hooch.' The canine actor's name was Beasley, and this was his only film. 

Most people had never heard of the breed before this film! After it came out, many fell in love with this strong and stubborn dog breed.

What kind of dog was in Turner and Hooch?

VetStreet provides some details about this breed and what makes him so unique when you're talking about the Mastiff breed family:

  • The Dogue de Bordeaux is a member of the mastiff family
  • His personality ranges from aloof to outgoing and he is a guardian breed with a fighting history
  • He's not an easy dog to own and should not be the choice of a first-time dog owner

Hopefully, after this film came out pet parents didn't run out and bring home Dogue de Bordeaux puppies as this breed is clearly not for someone that isn't used to working with large breeds.

Where did the Dogue de Bordeaux come from? 

Many dog breeds were considered for the canine role in 'Turner and Hooch' but the Dogue de Bordeaux Mastiff clearly won the hearts of the production team.

This powerful dog has a fascinating history:

"The Dogue de Bordeaux is a relative of the Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and similar breeds. He is thought to have existed in France for at least 600 years. The dogs guarded estates and hunted big game such as boar. They led the good life until the French Revolution when their association with the aristocracy probably cost many of them their lives."

This purebred has a massive head, and unfortunately, the health issues include elbow dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, bloat, hip dysplasia, and heart disease. Work with a reputable breeder when researching this breed.

The life expectancy of the Dogues de Bordeaux is 5 to 10 years.

Hooch was played by multiple dogs

According to an interview posted on Mental Floss, fewer than 300 of the breed were in the U.S. during the time of filming.

"Beasley, a 17-month-old pup, played the main Hooch--and he only had five months to prepare. His stunt double was named Igor. In 2013, Hanks said all four of the dogs in the film passed away and went to dog heaven."

Do you know anyone that lives with a French Mastiff? Let us know what characteristics you love about this breed!

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What Kind of a Dog is Hooch from 'Turner and Hooch'?