‘Turner & Hooch’: What Kind of Dog is Hooch?
What happens when an uptight and cleanliness-obsessed U.S. Marshal adopts a destructive and very slobbery dog? That’s the premise of Disney+‘s new crime comedy, Turner & Hooch, starring Josh Peck. A reboot of the 1989 Tom Hanks movie, Turner & Hooch features a French Mastiff as main character Scott Turner’s four-legged companion. Here’s more on the dog breed, plus what it was like for Hanks and Peck to work with French Mastiffs.
The original ‘Turner & Hooch’ dog was a French Mastiff named Beasley
Both the original and the reboot of Turner & Hooch use a Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as a French Mastiff, in the role of Hooch. The franchise depicts Hooch as a very protective and energetic dog, which isn’t far from reality, according to American Kennel Club.
While not an aggressive breed, French Mastiffs are not afraid to protect their families from any danger. They’re very loyal to the ones they love. As seen in Turner & Hooch, this dog breed does drool a lot. French Mastiffs also tend to be stubborn like Hooch, but they can become well-behaved with proper training.
In the original film, a French Mastiff named Beasley primarily played the role of Hooch alongside Hanks. However, the dog did have a few stunt doubles. During a 2012 appearance on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, Hanks said he “loved” Beasley and got along well with the film’s French Mastiffs.
“You know, when you make a movie with a dog, you have to work with the dog for weeks prior to shooting it. Otherwise, he won’t take his eye off the trainer. So, I would go off and play with, I think, actually three dogs that portrayed Turner and Hooch. It was a part too big for one dog,” Hanks said.
Unfortunately, Beasley died in 1992, not long after Turner & Hooch‘s release. However, he lived to be 14 years old, far beyond a French Mastiff’s typical life expectancy of five to eight years.
Five different French Mastiffs play Hooch in the series
Disney+’s Turner & Hooch features not one French Mastiff, but five, each with their own unique skills. Peck spoke about his experience with some of the dogs in an interview with Parade.
“Obie was our elder statesman. He’s 6, and he was really good at, like, sitting and looking cute and cocking his head. He wasn’t too nervous around sounds or crew people, which was great,” the Drake & Josh star explained. “Then we had Hammer, who had one speed, which was [to] pull my arm out of its socket when he had to pull me across the room.”
Peck added that another pup, Mimi, acted as the “special skills master” because of her ability to jump high and pick up objects with her teeth.
The dogs of Turner & Hooch serve their own purposes, but they all have one thing in common: excessive slobbering.
“French mastiffs naturally have very talented salivary glands,” Peck said. “Getting [Hooch] to slobber was not a stretch.”
Josh Peck says ‘Turner & Hooch’ made him a ‘total dog person’
Peck revealed to Variety that he knew he was a dog lover before Turner & Hooch, but the series turned him into a “total dog person.”
“People keep asking me what it was like to work with a dog. No one’s asked Hooch what it was like to work with me. I don’t know; he could have thought I was a total dud. Me and the dogs, we bonded right away because we both work well for treats, which is great,” Peck joked. “I just fell in love with these animals, and each of them had their own specialty.”
New episodes of Turner & Hooch premiere every Wednesday on Disney+.