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The Story Behind ‘Duke,’ The Bush’s Baked Beans Dog


When the time came for Jay Bush to appear in commercials as the spokesman for his family’s brand of baked beans, he turned to his Golden Retriever, Duketo, for comfort.

At a meeting to discuss commercial ideas in 1996, someone at the table suggested Jay tell Duke the secret family recipe for the delicious beans. At first, the idea seemed silly, but Jay whispered in his dog’s ear and the famous Bush’s Baked Beans series of commercials was born.

The real Duke Bush wasn’t a fan of the spotlight, however, so a look-alike professional dog actor was brought in to play the role.

17 years later, Bush’s still uses a talking ‘Duke’ in their commercials. Check out the very first Bush’s Baked Beans commercial featuring the talking dog in this video below!

36 Responses to The Story Behind ‘Duke,’ The Bush’s Baked Beans Dog
  1. Rod Funk
    July 15, 2014 | 1:14 pm

    Being a dog lover, during my preflights I try to pay particular attention to the pets which we occasionally transport in cargo space below the cockpit of my aircraft, an MD-M88. Just this last Sunday, 13 July, during my preflight, I checked on a dog that was in his crate in the forward cargo bay. I usually get the phone number off the top of the crate so I can text a photo of the pet to the owner so they know their dog is doing well. I checked for water and food, then snapped a photo of the dog, a golden retriever who seemed a little lonely. We “talked” for a few moments, then I tried to get number off the crate, but was unable to do to the size of the crate and its position in the hold. So, I finished my preflight and went back up stairs to check and see if the owner was on board yet. I found the owner and told her that her pet was doing fine and showed her the photo. She was very nice and excited to see that her “baby” was safely onboard, and she thanked me. Its wasn’t until after we landed in NY that one of our flight attendants told me that during the flight the passenger informed her that the dog was Duke! How about that?! Pretty neat to cross paths with him, as I like him in the commercials too! Warmest regards to all, Rod Funk, First Officer, Delta Airlines

  2. Chuckwagon
    June 5, 2014 | 10:01 pm

    Jay for President!
    Duke for Secretary Of Everything!
    Yaaa Hooo and Yeee Hawww! Keep up the good work boys. The commercials are great and your beans are the best! I’m eatin’ ‘em right now! Best wishes for continued success!


  3. […] the world what the recipe is but he never comes out successful. I personally do not like dogs but Duke has a place in my heart. He is sweet and filled with […]

  4. Marsha
    March 26, 2014 | 2:27 pm

    A pet, a baby, a sexy model, they all spell one thing: Cha-ching! Also, I’ve heard the “sillier” the commercial, the more memorable. Cha-ching@

  5. Cheryl Condrey
    March 26, 2014 | 12:57 pm

    I had a red Golden that many said looked like the Duke dog. Gotta love that dog and those beans! Love Golden’s of all colors!

  6. Dennis Berube
    March 26, 2014 | 10:29 am

    Eating a bowl of em right now. The MAPLE CURED BACON is just like my grandma use to make on her wood stove. I never thought anyone could beat hers, but Bush and his famous dog have!!!!!!! Buy them every week!!!!

  7. […] The Dogington Post […]

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    March 26, 2014 | 12:12 am

    […] …read more […]

  10. Jeff D.
    October 16, 2013 | 9:04 am

    Those commercials are pretty cute. I always love ones that involve animals anyway. Bush beans are my favorite. I especially like the vegetarian style, eventhough I’m not a vegetarian.

  11. Don Barber
    August 27, 2013 | 1:43 pm

    How do we get the figures

  12. Ernest Green
    August 25, 2013 | 8:04 pm

    I love that Duke!! Vegetarian Baked beans are my favorite! Everything Bush’s is supreme! Tell Duke hello for me. Best is ” When Pigs Fly” Ernie Green Irving, Texas

  13. Jessica
    August 7, 2013 | 8:32 pm

    The visitor center in chestnut hill Tennessee featured duke and jay a lot! It was really neat and the cafe served the best bean pecan pie I have ever tasted!

  14. Kathryn
    August 4, 2013 | 1:49 am

    My partner & I are real fans of Bushs Bush Beans. Make a real yummy recipe.

  15. Karen B
    August 3, 2013 | 4:46 pm

    I’d love to buy a talking Duke action figure! It doesn’t have to tell the secret – just want an action figure :) I have a dog that looks just like him and they are wonderful dogs!!

  16. Laura
    July 27, 2013 | 1:36 pm

    How can we order the Duke and Jay action figures from the recent commercials?

    • Don Barber
      August 27, 2013 | 1:42 pm

      Don Barber How do I get the action figures advertised on the commericals

      • Robin Franke
        September 16, 2013 | 7:41 am

        Yes my Family too is a Big Bush Bean Family, we also would Love to know how to get
        A Jay & Duke toy ? Thank You & We Love You Duke & Jay.
        Gods Blessings to all The Bush Family keep them wonderful
        Beans coming !

  17. Philip Webster
    July 21, 2013 | 10:12 pm

    I have the most beautiful 18 month old AKC registered Golden Retriever that we would like to breed but need to keep the bloodline pure. Any connections? Sparks,NV

  18. Val Frost and Bubbles
    July 18, 2013 | 6:37 pm

    Just saw the commercial with Jay and Duke and the “miniatures” this morning. I just looooooooooooooooooooove the Bush beans, Jay is really cool to trust his best buddy with the secret of the recipe, but I have to admit that DUKE steals the show every time out.
    I am disabled with a 165-lb Newfoundland Service Dog – named BUBBLES, and I trust her with my secrets too.
    Love the videos. Stay cool, Jay. Kudos to DUKE – handsomest baked beans salesman I have ever seen!
    Bubbles sends her love to Duke too.
    Val and Bubbles – Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

  19. millicent
    July 10, 2013 | 6:44 pm

    On the Bush bean commercial you show the duke the dog and his master toys that talk. How can I get these toys for my grandson for christmas. Please advise so I can order them. They are really cute. Please help me get them. Millicent Pape

  20. Nora
    July 6, 2013 | 5:13 pm

    My grandkids laugh at me when I tell them the most attractive man on TV is Jay Bush, and I don’t mean his dog. Yes, and I always buy his beans! xxoo

  21. green coffee beans
    July 4, 2013 | 10:49 am

    I have read so many articles regarding the blogger lovers however this paragraph is in fact a
    nice article, keep it up.

  22. Mary
    June 10, 2013 | 10:02 am

    My Watson comes from Duke’s family:

  23. Linfa Bouffard
    June 7, 2013 | 1:54 am

    My dog went on an unexpected walk without me a few days ago. He is a rescue dog. I have had him two months. I called the animal shelter to make a lost dog report. I described my dog and wasbtold he might be there. I said that he looks just like the Bush’s Baked Beans dog. The woman said a dog just like that was thereband that I should stop in and look at him. I went there and found my Goldie.

  24. Weezy
    June 2, 2013 | 3:37 pm

    I don’t like baked beans, but love the commercials, and especially love Duke the dog.

  25. Peggy
    May 31, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    Love Duke. Such a beautiful dog

  26. Donna
    May 29, 2013 | 12:11 am

    I just loved Duke from day one!! Oh and the beans are bad either!! :-)

  27. Andi Lee
    May 20, 2013 | 8:58 pm

    I like ole Duke and Bush’s vegetarian beans. Yum

    May 17, 2013 | 10:54 am

    Duke is the greatest and so are the beans .maybe he should make pet food commercials also

  29. judy
    May 17, 2013 | 10:25 am

    love those commercials,only buy Bush’s!! the best!!

  30. Esther
    May 16, 2013 | 8:55 pm

    What a beautiful dog. I love to see these commercials just to see Duke…He’s the star!!!

  31. Trisha Hanna
    May 16, 2013 | 7:36 pm

    lol i wouldnt trust my secrets with anyone but my dogs either lol, i have always loved this dog and only like bushes baked beans they are the best…

  32. The Daily Golden
    May 16, 2013 | 6:39 pm

    Rrrrrolll that beautiful bean footage!

  33. Vicki
    May 16, 2013 | 4:04 pm

    I like eating beans made by a family that trusts their dog with the secret recipe. Besides, they are so darn good, especially the Bourbon and Brown sugar beans,

  34. Sheila Smith
    May 16, 2013 | 2:52 pm

    I fell in love with Duke the first time I saw him. Love Bush’s Baked Beans (all varieties) and love Duke.

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