Avery Jennings, Chloe, and Tyler James are step-siblings who hate each other but come together in the pilot episode. The family faces an even bigger adjustment when they discover that their new dog, Stan, can talk. Only Avery, Chloe, and Tyler know he can talk. Unbeknownst to the family, Stan also has a blog, www.seestanblog.com, which he uses to discuss the 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 that if the world finds out that Stan can talk, he will be taken away and experimented on. In "Stan Talks to Gran" Bennett's mother Grandma James learns Stan can talk, but promises the kids to keep it a secret.
Cast and characters
Main characters from left to right: Avery, Bennett, Chloe, Ellen, Stan, and Tyler.
Avery Jennings, played by 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 cheerleading 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, and what she wants is to get into law school(her often-stated life goal is to be elected President of the United States in 2040). 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, although 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 in addition, is the school president, a stilt-walker, contortionist, and an amazing juggler. Avery has had 2 crushes: Dustin and Wes. Her best friends are Lindsay, Max, Nikki, and her talking dog Stan. 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. On top of all of Avery's hobbies, she loves art most of all.
Tyler James, played by Blake Michael, is the popular brother of Chloe and step-brother of Avery. He seems to get by with his good looks, much to Avery's dismay, 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. Although 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 towards 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 Bone Identity," it is revealed that Tyler is a math genius. In the episode "Freaky Fido," it is revealed that Tyler is not a very good actor.
Chloe James, played by Francesca Capaldi, is the sister of Tyler and step-sister of Avery. Chloe is naïve, 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, although her parents do not allow her to eat too much. She secretly hides sweets around the house in places like pillow cases and T.V. 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" and her feet her "walkin' hands" and her mouth her "eatin' hole" also her eyes her "lookin' balls" ) and scares Tyler while he sleeps. She is also very talented at making pillow and blanket forts.
Stan, played by live action dogs Kuma (Stan of the House, The Fast and the Furriest, Dog With a Hog, Bark! The Herald Angels Sing, and The Bone Identity) and Mick (Wingstan-present), and 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, and Grandma James. Stan hates noisy Pomeranians and has a deep love of poodles. It is shown that Avery is his favorite child. As shown in World of Woofcraft, he likes the game "Realm of the Tower". His catchphrases are "Here's something to chew on" and "There's the sugar!" Although at times he seems almost human, he still is a dog and has many dog qualities (such as his love of peanut butter and chew toys and his hatred of cats). 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; Robert was lost for a while until Grandma James found him in the couch cushion while cleaning, which excited Stan so much he broke his silence in front of her, leading to her knowledge that Stan can talk. Stan is also very sensitive about being called a dog as Avery says, seen in the episode "Stan runs away".
Bennett James, played by 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, played by 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. Like many Disney Channel sitcom mothers, she often displays an insatiable greed for power and attention. 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, played by Leigh-Allyn Baker from "Good Luck, Charlie," 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.
Recurring cast and characters
Lindsay, played by 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 cheerleading squad like them. Lindsay often talks fast when she panics, often leading to Avery also talking 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 her. In Season 2 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 got in a fight, she decided 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 a Season 2 episode that she keeps a roll of toilet paper that is "softer than what the school provides" under her hat.
Nikki Ortiz, played by 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 deceiving as she used on Bennett. 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 "Lost in Stanslation" 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, but 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, played by L.J. Benet, is Avery's enemy. He and Avery are the smartest kids in school. Karl is a jerk and is very nosy. 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 "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 at the International Space Station and talks often about his obsessive body-building mother, who he says is the "strongest woman in the world", although she has never been seen in 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 & Max confront Wes after he has harsh words for Avery.
Max, played by Danielle Soibelman, is one of Lindsay and Avery's best friends as shown in Season 2. 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, played by Peyton Meyer, is Avery's crush in season 2, he appeared in "Too Short", "Howlween", "Lost in Stanslation", "Avery B Jealous", "Avery-body dance now", and "Green-Eyed Monsters". In "Lost in Stanslation", Avery acts as his Spanish tutor, and at the end, he asks her if it would be inappropriate to ask his tutor (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 and 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, she just has strange relatives.
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.
The series pilot episode, "Stan of the House", is the show's most watched episode, having garnered 4.5 million viewers. The least watched episode is "I Want My Nicki Back, Nicki Back, Nicki Back" with 2 miliion viewers.
Despite Dog with a Blog's ratings success, the show has received mixed reviews. The show averages 5/10 on IMDb, or mixed reviews. On TV.com the show averages a 6.6/10, or mixed to positive reviews. The episode "My Parents Posted What?!" was very well received for its message on internet safety.
A small spin-off series called Dogs Rule! Cats... Not So Much debuted in 2014. It is a variety show hosted by Stan comparing cats to dogs and showing various cat or dog web videos.