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

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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 one of our favorite Jay & Duke Bush commercials below… will Duke reveal the secret family recipe?

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When I adopted my shepherd mix, Molly, from a local shelter 12 years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. Through Molly, I've learned to be more patient, experienced unconditional love, been alerted to the mailman and every squirrel within a block radius of the house, and ingested enough fur to build 3 or 4 more dogs! When I lost Molly to cancer just a few months ago, I adopted Olive, a 13 week old Golden Retriever. Together, we smile at least a hundred times a day!


  1. I am so proud that you still love the Bushes dog house commercial. This particular one starred our rescue dog Whinnie. He was abandoned at 5 weeks in a trailer wth a couple of litter mates and his mom. My husband and I fostered him and the rest is history. Whinnie was a wonderfully smart boy and he greatly filled our pack wth fun and love. We miss him a lot but he lives on in print and of course commercials. He never told the secret recipe.

  2. 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

  3. 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!


  4. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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!