When it comes to beloved canine characters from film and television, few are as memorable as Hooch from the 1989 classic “Turner & Hooch. While the lovable drool machine has captured the hearts of millions, a common question lingers: What kind of dog is Hooch? The answer is that Hooch is a Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as a French Mastiff.
Understanding the Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a breed with a rich history. Originating in France, it is one of the most ancient breeds and has been around for over 600 years. Primarily, the breed served as a hunting and war dog. Its large frame and formidable presence made it an excellent protector for its human companions.
A fully grown Dogue de Bordeaux typically weighs between 110 and 140 pounds. They have a wrinkled face, with a signature massive head that stands as one of the largest in the canine kingdom. Their coats are fine and short, commonly appearing in shades of fawn.
Temperament and Behavior
This breed is known for its loyalty and protective instincts. They are highly social animals when introduced to social settings at a young age. Though they might appear intimidating, they are incredibly gentle and often good around children. However, proper socialization and training are essential for this breed.
Hooch’s Role in Popular Culture
The character of Hooch has had a significant impact on the perception of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed. His appearance in “Turner & Hooch” skyrocketed the breed’s popularity in the United States. Before the movie, the Dogue de Bordeaux was relatively unknown outside France.
The real-life inspiration
The dog actor who played Hooch was named Beasley. Beasley was one of the first Dogue de Bordeaux dogs to be imported into the United States. His performance led to a surge in interest in the breed and also highlighted the Dogue de Bordeaux’s versatility and range of emotions that could be depicted on screen.
Caring for a Dogue de Bordeaux
If you’re considering bringing a Dogue de Bordeaux into your family, there are some crucial aspects to understand about their care.
Diet and nutrition
Being a large breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux has specific dietary needs. A balanced diet rich in protein and low in fillers is essential. Obesity can be a concern, so portion control and regular exercise are advised.
The breed can be prone to certain health issues, like hip dysplasia and certain types of cancer. Regular veterinary checks are essential for early detection and treatment.
Exercise and socialization
A moderate level of exercise is necessary for this breed. A daily walk and playtime in a secure yard are usually sufficient. Socialization from a young age is vital, as this breed can be reserved or suspicious around strangers.
Hooch and the Dogue de Bordeaux today
Thanks in part to Hooch, the Dogue de Bordeaux has continued to grow in popularity. Their lovable nature, coupled with their fierce loyalty, has made them a favorite choice for families, singles, and older adults alike. They are a versatile breed that excels both as a working dog and a family companion.
As more people discover the joys of sharing their lives with a Dogue de Bordeaux, the legend of Hooch lives on, proving that this ancient breed still has a significant role to play in our modern lives.
Training your Dogue de Bordeaux
Training is an essential part of owning any dog, but with the Dogue de Bordeaux, it becomes even more critical due to their large size and protective nature.
Start socializing your Dogue de Bordeaux as a puppy. Introduce them to various environments, people, and other animals to develop a well-rounded temperament. Socialization helps prevent behavioral issues later in life, making the dog more manageable and happier.
Basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come” are vital. Training should always be consistent and reinforced with positive methods such as treats or praise. The Dogue de Bordeaux is generally a smart breed that catches on quickly, but they can be stubborn. Patience and consistency are key.
For those interested in going beyond basic obedience, the Dogue de Bordeaux excels in various canine sports and activities. They do well in obedience competitions and can be trained for more advanced roles like search and rescue or even as therapy dogs.
Adoption vs. buying
If you’ve decided that the Dogue de Bordeaux is the right breed for you, the next step is to consider whether to adopt or buy.
Many Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are in need of a second home. Adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience, giving a home to a dog in need. Check local shelters or specialized breed rescues to see if they have any Dogue de Bordeaux dogs available for adoption.
Buying from a Breeder
If you opt to buy a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder. A good breeder will screen their dogs for common health issues and provide you with a health guarantee. They should also be willing to answer any questions you have and provide references from previous customers.
It’s essential to be aware of any laws or regulations regarding Dogue de Bordeaux ownership in your area. Some locations may have breed-specific laws or requirements for owning a large dog. Always check local ordinances before bringing a new pet into your home.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a unique and captivating breed that has stolen the hearts of many, thanks in no small part to Hooch’s portrayal in popular culture. Their loyalty, intelligence, and loving nature make them an excellent addition to many homes. However, they are a breed that requires a committed owner willing to invest time in training, socialization, and proper healthcare. With the right care and attention, a Dogue de Bordeaux can be a loyal and loving companion for years to come.