Set in Pasadena, California, Avery Jennings' mother Ellen had just married Chloe and Tyler James' father Bennett, so now the new family needs to make some adjustments to living together. They face an even bigger adjustment when they discover that their new dog, Stan, can talk. Only Avery, Chloe, and Tyler know this. Unbeknownst to the family, Stan also has a blog where he discusses happenings in the Jennings-James household. The children learn of Stan's talking ability in the first episode and agree to keep it a secret from their parents, fearing if the world finds out that Stan can talk, he will be taken away for experimentation.
In Stan Talks to Gran, Bennett's mother, Grandma James, learns Stan can talk. Knowing how much the kids love Stan, she promises to Stan that she will keep this a secret. In Karl Finds Out Stan's Secret, Karl reveals he has known about Stan's ability for some time, but promises to keep this a secret, given how much they care for Stan. In The Kids Find Out Stan Blogs, the three finally learn about Stan's blog.
In Stan Falls in Love, Stan meets the new neighbors' poodle, Princess, and instantly falls in love with her. He proposes to Princess in Stan Sleep Talks, and she accepts, making them engaged. They marry in Stan Gets Married, and in Stan Has Puppies, Princess gives birth to Freddy and Gracie.
In Stan's Secret Is Out, Bennett and Ellen find out about Stan's ability to talk, but he soon becomes famous so he won't get experimented on.
Main characters from left to right: Avery, Bennett, Chloe, Ellen, Stan, and Tyler.(Use cursor to identify)
Avery Jennings (G Hannelius) is the highly intelligent, hard-working step-sister of Tyler and Chloe. She hates the fact that Tyler feels everything has to go his way and that good things always seem to happen to him, such as in the pilot when Tyler books the living room as an excuse to have the school cheer-leading squad come over. Avery is very straightforward in following the rules and reluctantly goes along with what Tyler does. She is very smart, an overachiever, and knows what she wants. She wants everything to be handled in an orderly fashion, such as posting sign-up sheets for the living room and even the bathroom. Avery is socially responsible and despises boys like Tyler, though the two do have brother-sister heart-to-heart discussions showing that, at the end of the day, no matter how much Tyler annoys her, they love each other. She did not always love to take risks, but this changes, however, when she steals a large pig in one episode. Avery is a very good problem solver and is the school president. She has many abilities, including being able to walk on stilts, being a good contortionist, as well as being an amazing juggler. Avery has had two crushes: Dustin and her ex-boyfriend Wes. Her best friends are Lindsay, Max, Nikki, and her talking dog, Stan. Lindsay is a lovable airhead. Max just groans a lot, and Nikki is a cute chick from El Salvador. Avery says that she is a "perfect student," but she has trouble with math and doesn't know Spanish. She and Karl Fink, her nemesis, are the two smartest kids in their school. Later, the two become friends. On top of all of Avery's hobbies, she loves art most of all.
Tyler James (Blake Michael) is the popular brother of Chloe and step-brother of Avery. He seems to get by with his good looks, adding to Avery's jealousy, often causing the two to fight. Manipulative and occasionally a little vain, good things always seem to happen to him; he can get any pretty girl to go out with him and is extremely charismatic. Tyler is a math genius, found out later in the first season, and although he is very smart, Tyler is slacking off in school due to laziness, but in the pilot he learns he needs to act more like a brother toward Avery and will, on some occasions, show his soft, serious, mature side. Although he can sometimes be shown to be care-free and too laid-back, Tyler will rush to a person's side when they need help, showing that he cares about people and is not at all judgmental or a bad person, as seen in pilot when he comforts Avery after she breaks down crying over losing Stan. He can also be shown to be a little air-headed, but he has a quick wit and, like Avery, he knows what he wants and he will not stop at anything to get it. Although he is very manipulative, ironically, Tyler is completely unaware when people are manipulating him, such as when Chloe convinces him to drive her to get her ears pierced when Ellen and Bennett refuse. In the episode Freaky Fido, it is revealed that Tyler is not a very good actor.
Chloe James (Francesca Capaldi) is the younger sister of Tyler and step-sister of Avery. Chloe is naive, sweet, bubbly, and sometimes annoying. She often does crazy things. Avery notes in the pilot that when Tyler tries to get Stan to fetch a ball and Chloe goes to get it, that it is "cute until she chases a car". A running gag in the show is that the family will go someplace (school, ice cream parlor, etc.) and forget to bring Chloe home, and when they realize their error, they scream at the same time, "Chloe!" To make up for their oversight, they will buy her a new doll. Chloe is also known to love candy, though her parents do not allow her to eat too much. She secretly hides sweets around the house in places like pillow cases and TV remote battery compartments. She has a very active imagination, making up new names for various body parts (such as calling her stomach her "food box," her feet her "walkin' hands," her mouth her "eatin' hole," and her eyes her "lookin' balls") and scares Tyler while he sleeps. She is also very talented at making pillow and blanket forts. In Guess Who's a Cheerleader?, it's revealed that Chloe admires Avery the most and admitting that she wants to be just like her.
Stan (played by Kuma in Stan of the House, The Fast and the Furriest, Dog with a Hog, Bark! The Herald Angels Sing, and The Bone Identity and Mick in Wingstan-present, voiced by Stephen Full) is the James-Jennings family's new dog who blogs and talks. He keeps his secret of talking from Ellen and Bennett, and the only people who know that Stan can talk are Avery, Tyler, Chloe, Karl, and Grandma James. Stan hates noisy pomeranians and has a deep love of poodles. It is shown that Avery is his favorite child which is also based on the fact they talk to each other the most of the three kids. As shown in World of Woofcraft, he likes the game Realm of the Tower. Although at times he seems almost human, he is still a dog and has many dog qualities and is very sensitive about it. Although Stan does not like to admit it, if you look at his family tree, you would find that he is part cat. He blames the fact that his dog ancestor "married" his one cat ancestor because it was the 1970s. Stan has a beloved toy monkey named Robert who is his companion. Grandma James found Robert while cleaning the family room and announced that the toy was so disgustingly filthy, it was going straight to the trash. Stan panicked and shouted Robert's name right in front of her, exposing his secret and making Grandma James faint. Stan is also very sensitive about being called "just a dog," which Avery called him in the episode Stan Runs Away. After a year of secretly writing a blog about his experiences with the family, Avery, Chloe, and Tyler soon discover Stan's blog in The Kids Find Out Stan Blogs.
Bennett James (Regan Burns) is Tyler and Chloe's father and Avery's step-father. He is a child psychologist who often acts immature and childish himself and is the author of several books in which he uses his family as examples, only changing the names. He always tries to think of ways to get his kids to come together. He is also shown to be quite conceited. Sometimes, his wife thinks he got his psychology degree online, as his attempts at practicing psychology do not seem to go well. In the pilot, he introduces Stan to the blended family in hopes that the dog will help his children bond.
Ellen Jennings (Beth Littleford) is Avery's mother and Tyler and Chloe's step-mother. She does not like dogs, sometimes does not like cats, and makes it known that she does not like Stan. However, by the end of the episode Howloween, she and Stan get along. It was later revealed that she dislikes Stan due to an incident with a dog she had adored which had suddenly left her. Due to this, she is reluctant to bond with Stan. She is also known to be a bad cook. Her nickname is Smellen due to the medley of horrific odors in her car. She loves making jokes, often followed by her catchphrase, "Good one, Ellen!" She has been married to Bennett long enough to absorb some of his habits, including being scatterbrained. This could well account for their constant forgetting about Chloe. During What the What week, in the episode Who's Training Who? Ellen hires a master dog trainer (Leigh-Allyn Baker) to keep Stan off the couch. Ignoring the trainer by daydreaming, Stan ends up outside, until the kids convince him that he's one of them, and he gives in and accepts the new dog bed Ellen bought him.
Lindsay (Kayla Maisonet) is Avery's best friend. Lindsay's unique quality is that she always wears a hat, even when it's inappropriate, such as when she was Susan B. Anthony for a school project. She and Avery try to make their school's cheer-leading squad like them. Lindsay often talks fast when she panics, often leading Avery to also talk fast. Except for her lack of intelligence, she has much in common with Avery. They love the same books and movies and often say the same things at the same time involuntarily, and she also dislikes Karl just like Avery. However, Avery dislikes Karl more than she does. In the second season she is also friends with Max. In Avery B. Jealous, Wes, Avery's crush, asks Lindsay out on a date. Lindsay promises Avery that she will call off the date, but when they get in a fight, she decides to go out with Wes. Lindsay admits that she has always had a crush on Wes. In Avery-Body Dance Now, she and Max confront Wes when he turns Avery down to the school dance after Karl tells Wes he is going with Avery. It is hinted in an episode of the second season that she keeps a roll of toilet paper that is "softer than what the school provides" under her hat.
Nikki Ortiz (Denyse Tontz) is Avery's friend and Tyler's current girlfriend. She has a dog named Evita, who Stan despises, because she yaps too much. Nikki moved from El Salvador and is sweet and talented. In Wingstan, she was shown to be great at whistling and art. Her favorite thing other than telling the truth is being deceiving, as she did to Bennett in Dog Loses Girl. In Freaky Fido, it is shown that she is also a very talented actress. In Avery's First Crush, Nikki accidentally reveals her confusing and mysterious secret: "My brother didn't fall. He was pushed." In Love Ty-Angle she becomes jealous of Tyler's girlfriend and is confused about it. Nikki asks Tyler to dump Emily for her, but since he can't trust his dream girl, he chooses Emily; however, she learns about Nikki's pursuit of Tyler. This leads to Tyler being dumped by Emily and, despite never being picked second for anything, Nikki accepts when Tyler chooses her.
Karl Fink (LJ Benet) is Avery's frenemy. He and Avery are the smartest kids in school; however, in contrast to Avery, Karl is a shameless jerk. Being very nosy, he often barges into the James-Jennings house without knocking. He also tried to find out Stan's secret in The Bone Identity. He despises Avery because when they were much younger, she stole his graham crackers. He often has tea and snacks with Ellen, much to the discomfort of others, though they both claim that it's not weird. He once admitted he likes to send Ellen flowers under the alias of Walter Perkins. Karl has mentioned several times that his father is up on the International Space Station and talks often about his obsessive bodybuilding mother, who he says is the strongest woman in the world, though she has never been seen on the show. In Avery-Body Dance Now, he teaches Avery how to dance for the school dance with Wes; however, he tells Wes that he is going to the school dance with Avery. Confused and dejected, Wes decides to go to the dance alone and Lindsay and Max confront Wes about it. In Karl Finds Out Stan's Secret, it is revealed that Karl has been spying on Stan and the kids for a while. Now he knows that Stan can talk, but keeps it a secret.
Max (Danielle Soibelman) is one of Lindsay and Avery's best friends, as shown in the second season. She is shown to be a very negative, but overall nice, person, despite sporting dark clothing. She likes to act tough and says she hates everything, but she also danced with Karl at the school dance.
Wes (Peyton Meyer) is Avery's crush in the second season and has appeared in Too Short, Howloween, Lost in Stanslation, Avery B. Jealous, Avery-Body Dance Now, The Green-Eyed Monsters and Love, Loss and a Beanbag Toss. In Lost in Stanslation, Avery acts as his Spanish tutor; at the end, he asks her if it would be inappropriate to ask her out on a date in Spanish, but since she does not actually know the language, she answers with "Yes, very much!" in Spanish. He was very upset, as he had said he wanted to ask her that even before she was his tutor. In Avery B. Jealous, Wes asks Lindsay out after being rejected by Avery, but in the end he said that he was glad that he wasn't going with Lindsay. Wes wanted to go with Avery all along. In Avery-Body Dance Now, he asks Avery to go to the school dance with him; however, when Avery seeks dance lessons from Karl, he gets jealous of Karl, and when Karl tells Wes he is going with Avery, Wes goes by himself. After Lindsay and Max witness Wes being mad at Avery and Avery running out of the dance in tears, they learn of Karl's deception. Wes goes to Avery's house, where he tells her he likes her, and they return to the dance together. In The Green Eyed Monster, Stan accidentally captures a photo of Wes with another girl in the park, and Avery confronts him, which causes a temporary problem between Wes and Avery as he tells her he can't date a girl who doesn't trust him, but Stan and Tyler get together to convince Wes it wasn't Avery's fault and that she just has strange relatives. In the episode Love, Loss and a Beanbag Toss, Avery notices that Wes is ignoring her; after several confrontations he finally tells her that his family is moving to another town. They both agree on a long-distance relationship through the Internet, but soon notice that it is not going to work out well. They then decide to end their relationship and both try to move on.
Mason (Griffin Kunitz) is Chloe's current "boyfriend". According to Chloe in Stan Gets Schooled, Chloe and Mason started their relationship because Chloe came up to him, said "You're my boyfriend,", and gave him a tongue click. It is shown in Stan Has Puppies that he has twin brother named Jason.
Princess (Daphne) is Stan's wife who is owned by the James-Jennings' next-door neighbor the Collins.
Heather Collins (Brighid Fleming) is Princess' owner and the James-Jennings' next-door neighbor who moved in with her family in Stan Falls in Love. She is shown to be spoiled, ridiculously snobby, and stuck up. She also seems to have a liking to Karl.
Freddy (voiced by Jessica DiCicco) is the son of Stan and Princess and the brother of Gracie. He was born alongside Gracie in Stan Has Puppies, and began to talk at the end of The Puppies Talk.
Gracie (voiced by Marieve Herington) is the daughter of Stan and Princess and the sister of Freddy. She was born alongside Freddy in Stan Has Puppies, and began to talk at the beginning of The Puppies Talk.
The series was co-created by Michael B. Kaplan, who previously co-created the Disney XD series I'm in the Band. Stephen Full was previously a cast member of that series, along with Beth Littleford, who had a recurring role. G Hannelius and Regan Burns also previously guest starred on I'm in the Band, during the show's two-season run.
On February 4, 2013, Disney Channel renewed the series for a second season. On February 4, 2014, the series was renewed for a third season by Disney Channel.
A spin-off short series called Dogs Rule! Cats... Not So Much debuted on their online WATCH Disney Channel service on Friday, February 14, 2014. It is a variety show hosted by Stan comparing cats to dogs and showing various cat or dog web videos. The spin-off commonly airs on Disney Channel during commercial breaks.
Worldwide the show airs on Disney Channel. It originally previewed on October 12, 2012, in both countries and previewed on November 4, 2012, in the United States and on November 23, 2012, in Canada. The show later previewed on December 21, 2012, and premiered on January 11, 2013, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In India, the series premiered on December 1, 2013. The second season premiered on November 26, 2014. It eventually premiered on March 2, 2013, in Singapore and on March 25, 2013 in Australia and New Zealand.