In 1989, Tom Hanks along with Craig T. Nelson, Mare Winningham, and Reginald Vel Johnson starred in a movie called Turner and Hooch. The storyline involved a massively strong dog named Beasley that had one of the leading roles alongside Tom Hanks who played a police investigator trying to find the person who murdered the owner of a junkyard and prior owner of the dog.
This particular breed is officially called Dogue de Bordeaux although called by other names to include Bordeauxdog, French Mastiff, Bordeaux Mastiff, and even the “Turner and Hooch dog breed.”
No matter the name, there is no denying the incredible size and strength of the “Turner and Hooch dog breed”. People in the theater laughed but also appreciated the sweet relationship that developed between Hanks and the dog, a true depiction of the breed’s nature.
Hanks suffered horribly from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while the dog was not only huge and strong, but also had a serious problem of slobbering. Moviegoers had a wonderful experience in watching give and take scenarios and because of the movie’s immediate success, Disney created a television series after it.
History and Interesting Information
Historians estimate that the Dogue de Bordeaux was first bred in France dating back to the 14th century. The dog was bred primarily in and around the Bordeaux region, thereby the name. Initially, several varieties of this breed existed, one being known as Doguin, which was smaller and sadly, today extinct.
At first, the dog’s head size was massive and actually too large for the dog’s gigantic body but sometime around 1920, breeders were able to develop a uniform breed, bringing head size into proportion with the body.
When first bred, the Turner and Hooch dog breed was used for hunting, herding, and protection, being trained specifically to hunt boars but also to be used as bait for jaguars, bears, and bulls. Then in the late 19th century, this breed was used for show in the United States but with so few dogs in existence, the Dogue de Bordeaux Club or SADB was formed by breeders who wanted to make sure this variety also did not face extinction. In fact, by 1982, only 600 dogs of this breed were left throughout the world, none being in America.
It was not until 1989 when the movie opened in theaters around the United States that people saw and fell in love with the “Turner and Hooch dog breed”. With increased interest and popularity, new breeding efforts started shortly after with the focus on retaining a pure breeding line, the black mask, dark amber colored eyes, pink nose, and unique red mask.
Even the large head size and structure seen in the 14th century was refined. Then from the mid-1960s to 2005, breeders worked hard to rebuild the breed’s foundation, the breed’s standard was rewritten, and the dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
As mentioned, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a huge dog because of its wide build but also incredible muscle mass, making this dog also tremendously strong. Upon reaching maturity, females weigh between 95 and 110 pounds while males are anywhere from 110 to 120 pounds.
Although there are many other dog breeds that weigh more in adulthood, the powerful muscles coupled with weight and large head make this an imposing dog. In fact, at first glance most people think of the Turner and Hooch dog breed as being aggressive and mean but in reality, this dog is even tempered and very affectionate.
As far as height, females generally reach between 22 and 25 inches tall measuring from the shoulders whereas male dogs reach anywhere from 23 to 27 inches tall. As mentioned, the large head is the first thing people notice and considering average circumference is almost the same as the dog’s height, it is understandable.
Regarding the breed’s coat, most people describe it as being short but velvety to the touch. This breed also comes in several colors that start with fawn, a beautiful but light copper color that goes to mahogany, which is a rich brownish red.
There are many fascinating things about the Turner and Hooch dog breed but one in particular is that although this dog is naturally protective of owner, family, and home, guarding is typically done with presence and bark alone opposed to being aggressive. In addition, people should not be fooled by the massive body and head size because the Dogue de Bordeaux is incredibly gentle, loyal, and affectionate, making this an excellent family pet.
The only real drawbacks to owning a Turner and Hooch dog breed include slight stubbornness, dominance, and arrogance but these could be controlled and managed with proper training. Of course, there is always the issue of slobbering that would need to be taken into consideration.