How many of us have fallen in love with several endearing canine actors over the years? You may recall with a touch of nostalgia, the popular 1989 comedy drama movie starring Tom Hanks playing the role of Scott Turner as a clean-cut cop, and Hooch, a large and slobbery mastiff-like dog, who turns out being the closest thing to a witness in a murder case involving the death of his owner. As a former junk-yard dog, Hooch soon makes himself at home in Scott’s spotless apartment wrecking havoc and turning Scott’s life upside down. Despite having a sad ending, the movie is still close to the heart to many and Hooch’s interpretation as the dog that spread drool all over and loved to drink beer remains remarkable.
Getting to Know Hooch Better
The dog that played Hooch was a Dogue de Bordeaux called Beasley. He was born in 1978 in Peter Curley’s TNT kennels in Merrimac, Wisconsin. He was later purchased along with other three dogs, Barry, Vigor and Cristo, for the production of the Turner and Hooch movie. Clint Rowe, who made a brief appearance in the movie in the role of the ASPCA officer, was his trainer. Most of the movie was filmed in Monterey, Pacific Grove and Moss Landing in California. Despite dying in 1992 at the ripe age of 13, just three years after the movie was released, “Hooch’s” legacy still lives on. Thanks to Hooch, the Dogue de Bordeaux breed became a more popular household pet and movie star. After Hooch’s appearance, Foster, another Dogue de Bordeaux, starred on General Hospital, and Kalusha De El Siscar starred in an episode of Sex and the City.
Getting to Know the Breed BetterAlso known as French mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux, as its name implies, originated from France’s Bordeaux region. This ancient breed was overall quite versatile, being used for hauling carts, hunting, guarding flocks and protecting the castles of nobles in Europe. Weighing in at an average of 120 or more pounds, this powerful, imposing fellow, gifted with a massive head and loads of courage to spare, has what it takes to being the perfect guard dog.
If you want to own this breed, be prepared to deal with plenty of snoring, sliming and slobbering. Also, consider size. Remember how Hooch did a good job in trashing Turner’s house? The bull in the China shop syndrome is a likely scenario with a bored Dogue de Bordeaux kept in an apartment. Just like other large dogs, this breed needs space and moderate daily exercise, explains trainer and author Michelle Welton. As Hooch repeatedly demonstrated, the breed can be stubborn and inclined to want to do things his way. Ongoing training and socialization is a must with this breed.
Many owners of this breed warn that owning a Dogue de Bordeaux is overall a bitter sweet experience. The breed can be a joy to own courtesy of its calm demeanor, loyalty and strong desire to be an integral part of the family. The downside is that this breed is quite vulnerable to many health issues and has quite a short lifespan, averaging six years, making Beasley’s lifespan in comparison quite remarkable overall.