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

Posted by Christy Caplan
What kind of dog is hooch

Are you a big 'Turner and Hooch' fan? Do you know what type of pup Hooch was? 

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?

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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
  • These dogs can be reserved or outgoing, but they're natural instinct is to be a guardian
  • For numerous reasons, veteran dog owners should consider these big dogs!

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 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."

Be honest, did the movie make you want to get one?

Do you know anyone that lives with a French Mastiff? Show us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram page. 

READ MORE: Meet the Good Dogs (and One Cat) of the Daytona 500

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