If you’re in your 20s or 30s, it’s likely you remember or have fond memories of the show called “Adventure Time,” which aired on the Cartoon Network in the 2010s. A question has echoed since concerning one of its main characters, which is “What kind of dog is Jake?”
It is popularly believed that Jake the Dog is an English Bulldog. However, some are under the belief that he’s a Pug. There’s no clear statement given about the breed type of Jake, but only what we can make from his appearance. Either way, size differences aside, both breeds tend to look very similar.
One could suppose that either breed could fit the bill, as Jake could manipulate his size and body length. When more petite, one could assume he was a Pug, and when larger and wider, he’d appear more like an English Bulldog.
Why Did Jake the Dog Have Special Abilities?
Some might think that Jake had abilities because of the mushroom war that developed the planet into the world that the main characters traversed through. However, this isn’t the case.
If one were to ask Jake, he’d say that he received his powers by rolling around in the mud as a small puppy. At least that’s what he thought until the truth was revealed to him.
The truth is that before Jake’s conception, Jake’s parents “Joshua and Margaret” were tracking down a shape-shifting creature. They were eventually attacked by the creature, resulting in Joshua being bitten in the head.
From the wound that Joshua suffered, baby Jake emerged. So, Jake’s abilities and shapeshifting powers result from this occurrence and are explained to Jake in a reveal given by the creature that bit his father in the episode called “Jake the Starchild.”
About Adventure Time the Cartoon
The animated TV series “Adventure Time” was created by Pendleton Ward and aired on the Cartoon Network for the first time back in 2010. After achieving a great deal of success, the show’s popularity finally began to dwindle in the mid to late 2010s till its final episode aired on September 3, 2018.
Critics praised the show early on as it rode the fine line between humor for kids and blending it with more complex, adult humor. Some even compared it to the flavor of cartoons for a bygone era that could entertain children and adults alike in theaters before televisions.
Though the popularity of Adventure Time enjoyed an upward trend of viewers in the millions, the numbers began to wane and head in the opposite direction somewhere in the cartoon’s seventh season, which was the 2015-2016 cycle.
After losing large swaths of its audience for whatever reason, the cast and crew were notified in 2017 that the show had been canceled and was due to stop airing by 2018. Since then, a spinoff show was relaunched by HBO in 2020, which brought the world back to life, along with its two main characters, Finn and Jake the Dog.
A Little Information About English Bulldogs
Since the breed involved in the character “Jake” is largely believed to be an English Bulldog, let’s look at this extremely popular breed. We’ll also point out the similar characteristics between English Bulldogs and Jake.
Brief History of the English Bulldog
The History of today’s version of the English Bulldog isn’t that old as far as breeds go. However, what is now called the Old English Bulldogs date back to the 12th century. This original iteration of the breed was bred to take down bulls and, at times, bears in the arena.
As bullbaiting and dog fighting became taboo and eventually banned in the 1800s throughout England, the Bulldog was bred with other, less aggressive dogs while maintaining every attractive aspect of the breed in looks. The result is what we have today, a breed that is now distinct from its original forefathers and resides in the top 10 most popular breeds list in most Kennel Clubs.
How Jake is Similar to Bulldogs
There are several ways that Jake doesn’t resemble a bulldog at all, just due to the nature of the character itself- plus, it’s just a cartoon. SO, don’t expect to find any orange Bulldogs out there that shapeshift (but please let me know if you find one!).
There are five different things about Jake’s appearance that tip us off to his type of dog.
- His Overall Frame- Jake’s body has a wide (maybe a little chubby) girth yet compact from head to tail. This is very much the shape of a Bulldog, more specifically, an English Bulldog.
- Width of His Head- The width of Jake’s head is just about the same width as the widest part of his body (when not shapeshifting or contorting his figure). English Bulldogs have an extremely wide head. There’s a name for this head shape, called “brachycephalic.” This head type consists of a wide head with a shortened muzzle. Compact Snout- If you take a look at Jake, his muzzle is nearly nonexistent. This is an exaggerated rendition of the compact or smushed-in appearance of the English Bulldog.
- Small, Folded Ears- In many angles, Jake’s ears are little more than a lower case “u” or an upturned “c.” Rarely did the artists have them protruding out at all. This effect replicates (in a simple way) the small, folded ears of the English Bulldog.
- Fold Over the Nose- The fold-over Jake’s nose drapes over each side, ending below Jake’s mouth. This is similar to the jowls that droop down past either side of an English Bulldog’s mouth.
Whether you loved the cartoon, hated the cartoon, or were indifferent, there’s no denying that this program impacted a generation of children along with multiple generations of adults. The efforts to bring the show back via HBO are a testament to that fact.
Jake the Dog (Jake the Bulldog) has several characteristics that set him apart from any breed of animal found on this earth, let alone a Bulldog. That’s just the beauty of creativity and the world of make-believe.
But when you take a good look at the artwork of Jake and strip away any of the strange colors or shapeshifting, you’ll see that at Jake’s core is an extremely simple rendition of an English Bulldog.