Jack, a 6-month-old bulldog puppy, arrived to campus as the new Georgetown University mascot to succeed the current retiring Jack the Bulldog on July 24.
The new Jack will gradually absorb the former’s mascot responsibilities, including entertaining Hoya fans at basketball games and meeting prospective students on GAAP weekends, but also will bring a new personality to the job. The senior, 6-year-old Jack the Bulldog mascot will remain a part of the Georgetown community after he officially passes the torch to the junior Jack in the next few months.
Compared to the older Jack, baby Jack has a softer disposition and is slightly less willful, according to Janice Hochstetler.
“Baby Jack is very quiet and sweet in his disposition. He is eager to please and really enjoys being with people and with other dogs,” Hochstetler wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The older Jack was known for his signature skateboarding at Georgetown basketball games, while the junior Jack is still cultivating a signature move, according to a university press release. Young Jack also enjoys playing with his dog friends, chasing his favorite green watering can and falling leaves, and playing with his toy armadillo and elephant.
The new mascot’s parents, African Rhythm of IROC Bulldogs and Ready Eddy of CasaGrande English Bulldogs, are both champion canines, according to a university release. Jack was born in January in Alberta, Canada, but moved to Valley Center, California, where he began training with breeders and Georgetown parents Janice and Marcus Hochstetler. The Hochstetlers previously gifted former mascot, Jack Jr., to Georgetown in 2012 and offered the retiring mascot, 6-year-old Jack, to Georgetown in 2013.
The senior Jack remains healthy, but after nearly six years as the Georgetown mascot, he will now retire with his longtime caretaker McKenzie Stough (COL ’13), director of digital engagement and social media for the university.
“Old Jack is looking forward to all of the scratches, treats and naps that life as a pet will bring,” Stough wrote in an email to The Hoya. “He will spend his time chasing toys, bingeing Petflix and perhaps taking up a new hobby like gardening (he’s very good at digging holes).”
Going forward, students will continue to see the older Jack out and about on campus as he transitions to retirement and the new Jack takes on more duties, according to university spokesperson Rachel Pugh.
“Jack (soon-to-be-emeritus) remains part of the campus community,” Pugh wrote in an email to The Hoya. “As part of Georgetown’s succession plan, the dogs will share mascot responsibilities with Jack scaling back his duties and retiring while the new bulldog is trained to take on all mascot duties full-time.”
The younger Jack will live with Cory Peterson, the Georgetown director of neighborhood life. Peterson will care for and help train the bulldog with the Jack Crew, a selective group of students responsible for walking Jack twice daily and escorting him to events. In the coming months the puppy will start by attending events with fewer people before graduating to larger appearances.
Over the past year, Georgetown’s Bulldog Advisory Committee, an organization comprised of students, staff and alumni, considered the best practices at universities with live mascot programs and determined a need to establish a mascot succession plan, according to Pugh. The search for a new dog was conducted through the Alumni Association and Public Affairs in consultation with Hochstetler.
Young Jack went on a multitude of trips before coming to Georgetown, including excursions to a rodeo and to Home Depot, where he learned how to ride in a shopping cart — a forerunner to Jack the Bulldog’s iconic Jeep, according to Hochstetler.
Thanks to his training, the puppy knows his basic commands and some special tricks like spinning right and left. He also learned to socialize with other canines by interacting with the Hochstetlers’ other two dogs and attending the Bulldog Club of Greater San Diego’s beach party, where he interacted with 30 other bulldogs, according to Hochstetler.
“He learned the proper way to greet new dogs and how to allow dogs to sniff him as part of the greeting ritual,” Hochstetler wrote. “His most difficult lesson was to remain in place on his blanket. It was an important skill he needed to learn for his new life in the offices at Georgetown.”