Celebrity Pets

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




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  2. Mary

    Jul 4, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I just lost my 3 pound 6 oz 13 year old dog to a very agressive cancer. Not beleiving my vet i took her to another vet only to find out the same thing. It was in her eye, her mouth and she was in so much pain i had to let them put her down to cross the Rainbow bridge. I have talked to other dog owner who have lost their dog to an aggressive cancer and i have read about dogs having this same cancer.

    I asked my vet if it could be the dog food as i have always fed my dogs top of the line dog food. No wheat, no fat or additive.He said it could be and i told him about a story i read and a program on T V about dogs and cats that are road kill or put down by vets being given to pet food companies who in turn grind them up and put in pet food. My dog was cremated and igot her ashes so i know she isnt in dog food. Something has to be causing this cancer and just like they tell us food is causing cancer in humans. All the things in it. Cremation is cheap, you get their ashes back and you know your dog isnt being put in animal food.

  3. Sandy

    Jun 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I read today that one of the “actor” dogs that played “Duke” in the most recent commercials, Sam, has died from a highly aggressive cancer. Our hearts go out to Sam’s family and friends. BTW, we switched to Bush’s beans because of the dog(s) in the commercial. 😀

  4. Sandra Cook

    Jun 9, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    How can my dog,Stella, meet Duke? She’s in love with him…lol…

  5. Kari Ann Owen

    Apr 6, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I love Duke, and totally trust his confidentially.
    Dr. Kari Ann Owen
    Missoula, MT

  6. Marcia Lewis

    Mar 23, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Is that the real Jay bush all biker looking?

  7. V. Crosby

    Mar 13, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Love your commercials,and the beans too! My golden can keep a secret! He never gave out any personal information!

  8. Danna

    Jun 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Is this the same dog who is now in the Blue Bunny ice cream commercials?

  9. Sharon

    Oct 29, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    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.

  10. Rod Funk

    Jul 15, 2014 at 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

    • Ron Brown

      Jul 3, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Duke could have told you his owners name….

  11. Chuckwagon

    Jun 5, 2014 at 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!


  12. Marsha

    Mar 26, 2014 at 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. [email protected]

  13. Cheryl Condrey

    Mar 26, 2014 at 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!

  14. Dennis Berube

    Mar 26, 2014 at 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!!!!

    • gofinsc

      Jul 4, 2018 at 2:37 am

      Beans, beans, good for your heart.
      The more you eat ’em, the more you fart.
      The more you fart, the better you feel!
      So eat those beans at every meal!

  15. Jeff D.

    Oct 16, 2013 at 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.

  16. Don Barber

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    How do we get the figures

    • CAROLE

      Jul 4, 2018 at 7:08 am


  17. Ernest Green

    Aug 25, 2013 at 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

  18. Jessica

    Aug 7, 2013 at 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!

  19. Kathryn

    Aug 4, 2013 at 1:49 am

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

  20. Karen B

    Aug 3, 2013 at 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!!

  21. Laura

    Jul 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm

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

    • Don Barber

      Aug 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

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

      • Robin Franke

        Sep 16, 2013 at 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 !

  22. Philip Webster

    Jul 21, 2013 at 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

  23. Val Frost and Bubbles

    Jul 18, 2013 at 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

  24. millicent

    Jul 10, 2013 at 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

  25. Nora

    Jul 6, 2013 at 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

    • Robin

      Oct 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      I agree. I have always thought Jay Bush is a hottie from the first time I saw his commercial. Duke is a sweet dog too.

  26. green coffee beans

    Jul 4, 2013 at 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.

  27. Mary

    Jun 10, 2013 at 10:02 am

    My Watson comes from Duke’s family: http://worknotes.com/mn/kimball/almgren/

  28. Linfa Bouffard

    Jun 7, 2013 at 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.

    • Robin

      Oct 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Glad you found your dog. I have a German Shepherd mix rescue dog that will bolt if she is given the chance. She is usually either at the farm down the road or at the swamp across the road.

  29. Weezy

    Jun 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

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

  30. Peggy

    May 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Love Duke. Such a beautiful dog

  31. Donna

    May 29, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I just loved Duke from day one!! Oh and the beans are bad either!! 🙂

  32. Andi Lee

    May 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm

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


    May 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

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

  34. judy

    May 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

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

  35. Esther

    May 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

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

  36. Trisha Hanna

    May 16, 2013 at 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…

  37. The Daily Golden

    May 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Rrrrrolll that beautiful bean footage!

  38. Vicki

    May 16, 2013 at 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,

  39. Sheila Smith

    May 16, 2013 at 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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