The series focuses on a young boy named Ryder who leads a crew of search and rescue dogs that call themselves the PAW Patrol. They work together on missions to protect the shoreside community of Adventure Bay. Each dog has a specific set of skills based on emergency services professions, such as a firefighter, a police officer, and an aviation pilot. They all reside in doghouses that transform into customized vehicles for their missions. They are also equipped with backpacks called "pup packs" that contain tools that relate to the pups' jobs.
On June 4, 2019, Nickelodeon renewed the series for a seventh season of 26 half hour episodes. In the United States, select episodes are available to stream on Noggin, for free with TV Everywhere authentication on Nickelodeon's app and with a public library card through the Hoopla app.
Each episode of PAW Patrol follows a similar pattern and features recurring themes. Episodes normally open with a scene depicting the dogs going about their everyday lives, often playing with dog toys or engaging in activities at the local playground. Ryder, a ten-year-old boy, is advised of a problem by receiving a call for help or by witnessing a situation himself. His most frequent caller is an accident-prone marine biologist named Cap'n Turbot, who knows much about Adventure Bay's wildlife. Ryder always alerts the dogs via their blinking pet tags. The team members report to their base, the Lookout, and enter its elevator. Marshall typically arrives last causing a humorous mishap that makes the other dogs laugh as the elevator rises. When they reach the top floor, they arrange themselves in a line. Chase announces that the team is ready for action as Ryder tells the pups what has happened. He chooses several members of the team, normally two first responders, to help solve whatever problem has emerged. They ride a slide down to their vehicles and complete their mission. When they have finished, Ryder says his catchphrase: "Whenever you're in trouble, just yelp for help!", and congratulates the pups.
The illustrated designs of the entire PAW Patrol team as of Tracker's introduction.
Ryder is the human leader of the PAW Patrol. He is a ten-year-old boy who gives the dogs their mission instructions and builds the vehicles and equipment they use. He was voiced by Owen Mason from 2013 to 2015, by Elijha Hammill from 2015 to 2016, Jaxon Mercey from 2016 to mid-2019, and by Joey Nijem from mid-2019 onward.
Marshall is a dalmatian who serves as a firefighter and paramedic dog. His vehicle is a fire engine, which transforms into an ambulance. He is known for being exceptionally clumsy. A running gag in every episode is that Marshall will encounter some kind of humorous problem while trying to enter the PAW Patrol's elevator. He was voiced by Gage Munroe from 2013 to 2014, by Drew Davis from 2014 to 2019, and by Lukas Engel from 2019 onward.
Rubble is a bulldog who serves as a construction dog. His vehicle is a bulldozer. He is often a source of comic relief and usually makes jokes or comments about his love of eating. He is voiced by Devan Cohen from 2013 through 2019, and by Keegan Hedley from 2019 onward.
Chase is a German Shepherd who serves as a police and spy dog. His vehicle is a police car. He is the most mature of the dogs, and will always announce "PAW Patrol ready for action, Ryder, sir!" when the PAW Patrol is called on a mission. His catchphrase is "Chase is on the case!". He was voiced by Tristan Samuel from 2013 to 2014, by Max Calinescu from 2014 to 2018, and by Justin Paul Kelly from 2018 onward.
Rocky is a grey-and-white mongrel who serves as a recycling dog. His vehicle is a recycling truck, which can also transform into a salvage tug. A running gag in the series is Rocky's irrational fear of water to the point where he refuses to bathe. He was voiced by Stuart Ralston from 2013 to 2015 and by Samuel Faraci from 2015 onward.
Zuma is a chocolate Labrador retriever who serves as an aquatic rescue pup. His vehicle is a hovercraft, which can also convert into a submarine. He was voiced by Alex Thorne from 2013 to 2017, by Carter Thorne from 2017 to 2019, and by Shayle Simons from 2019 onward.
Skye is a cockapoo who serves as an aviator. Her vehicle is a helicopter, and she has wings built into her backpack. She is voiced by Kallan Holley from 2013 through 2019, and by Lilly Bartlam from 2019 onward.
Cap'n Turbot is the PAW Patrol's most frequent caller, who serves as an occasional member of the team in the Merpup-themed special episodes. He is a smart marine biologist who frequently speaks in alliterations. His main vehicle is a boat called the Flounder. In the second season, an orange diving bell is introduced as his second vehicle. He is the team's best human friend and their source of information on all kinds of wildlife in the bay. He is voiced by Ron Pardo. Along with Everest, Cap'n Turbot was added to the opening theme in season three.
Robo-Dog is a robotic dog introduced in "Pups Save Ryder's Robot". He serves as the driver of the PAW Patrol's multi-member vehicles. Unlike the other pups, Robo-Dog does not speak in sentences and only communicates through barks. His vehicle (the PAW Patroller) was added to the opening theme in season three, but Robo-Dog himself does not appear.
Everest is a Siberian Husky who serves as a snow rescue dog in emergencies relating to snow or ice. She was introduced in the season two episode "The New Pup". Her vehicle is a snowmobile. Like Tracker, she does not stay with the PAW Patrol and instead lives at Adventure Bay's ski resort with Jake, but will answer a call for assistance whenever her services are needed. She is voiced by Berkley Silverman. Everest, along with Cap'n Turbot, was added to the opening theme in season three.
Tracker is a brown-and-white chihuahua who serves as a jungle rescue pup. His vehicle is a Jeep, and he is bilingual, speaking fluently in Spanish and English. Like Everest, he does not stay with the PAW Patrol and instead resides in the jungle with his human caretaker, a boy named Carlos. He is voiced by David Lopez.
Mayor Goodway is the overdramatic but friendly mayor of Adventure Bay. She owns a pet chicken named Chickaletta, which she keeps in her purse. She shares a rivalry with Mayor Humdinger of the neighbouring town Foggy Bottom. She is voiced by Deann Degruijter.
Chickaletta is the mayor's pet chicken. She is not quick-witted or observant and often unintentionally causes trouble for herself and Mayor Goodway. She is introduced in "Pup Pup and Away" when she jumps into Mayor Goodway's purse during a hot air balloon race.
Francois Turbot is Cap'n Turbot's cousin and sidekick, who lives with him in the Seal Island lighthouse. He is very self-centered and loves to show off, but also cares deeply about animals. Francois works as a zoologist, artist, and nature photographer. He has a thick French accent and often uses French phrases in place of English words. He is voiced by Peter Cugno.
Wally is Cap'n Turbot's pet walrus, who lives in the waters surrounding Seal Island. He has a wife named Walinda and an unnamed baby child. Although he cannot talk, Ryder and Cap'n Turbot can understand Wally when he communicates by barking and moving his flippers.
Mayor Humdinger is the mayor of a neighbouring town called Foggy Bottom. He is Mayor Goodway's rival who spends most of his time devising unfair schemes to make his town seem better than Adventure Bay. He lives in a cave and leads a team of troublesome cats called the Kitten Catastrophe Crew. He is voiced by Ron Pardo.
The Kitten Catastrophe Crew is Mayor Humdinger's group of kittens who closely resemble the six original PAW Patrol pups. Each one is equipped with a uniform and a tool pack that mirror a particular pup's outfits and abilities.
Katie is a girl Ryder's age. She runs Adventure Bay's pet clinic and owns a cat named Cali. She is voiced by Katherine Forrester.
Mr. Porter is a grocer in Adventure Bay. He is voiced by Blair Williams.
Alex Porter is Mr. Porter's grandson. He was voiced by Christian Distefano from 2013 to 2018 and by Wyatt White from 2018 onward.
Farmer Yumi and Farmer Al are two married farmers who live near Adventure Bay. They own a barn and have several animals, such as a pair of pigs and a cow. Farmer Yumi was voiced by Hiromi Okuyama from 2013 to 2014 and by Stephany Seki from 2014 onward. Farmer Al is voiced by Ron Pardo.
Jake is the owner of a ski resort near Adventure Bay. He becomes Everest's caretaker after she is introduced. He is voiced by Scott McCord.
Carlos is a jungle explorer who is Tracker's caretaker. He was voiced by Lucius Hoyos and later by Jaiden Cannatelli.
Danny is a daredevil boy who appears in the third-season episode "Pups Save Daring Danny X".
Princess of Barkingburg is a young teenage girl who is set to eventually become queen of Barkingburg. She is a protagonist of the "Mission PAW"-themed episodes in the fourth season. She is voiced by Caoimhe Judd.
Sweetie is a villainous pup and the pet of the Princess of Barkingburg. She acts as an antagonist in "Mission PAW"-themed episodes in the fourth season. She has a chew toy named Busby that she treats as a robot minion. She is voiced by Anya Cooke.
Sid Swashbuckle is a greedy pirate who steals almost everything he sees. He first appears in "Sea Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis."
Arrby is a dachshund pup and sidekick to Sid, whom he is eager to please. Despite being a thief, he is friendly towards the PAW Patrol. He first appears in "Sea Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis."
Harold Humdinger is a smart and tech nephew of Mayor Humdinger who first appeared in "Mighty Pups". He serves as the main antagonist in the Super Paws episodes. He is voiced by Chance Hurstfield.
Ladybird is a female villain who's greedy for shiny things and first appeared in the Season 6 episode "Mighty Pups, Super Paws: Pups Meet the Mighty Twins". She is voiced by Bryn McAuley.
According to Spin Master, the concept for PAW Patrol stemmed from a prototype for a transforming truck toy that Spin Master co-founder Ronnen Harary designed in 2010. Later the same year, the company requested proposals for a television show based on the transforming toy, and accepted one from Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman. Chapman sketched early designs of the PAW Patrol team under the working title Raffi & the Rescue Dogs. Spin Master hired toy designers to develop the format further; after the concept was in place, they began designing merchandise.
Chapman's original pitch focused on the idea that the six PAW Patrol dogs were rescued by Ryder before joining the team. Scott Kraft, the show's first writer, and Jamie Whitney, the show's first director, decided to abandon the rescued dog theme in 2012. The name of the series' protagonist, Ryder, was changed multiple times during production; he was originally called Raffi, Roddy, and Robbie before Spin Master settled on Ryder.
Early models of the PAW Patrol pups.
According to a 2017 Spin Master interview, "everything pup-related was debated endlessly: names, sizes, ages, breeds." The pups' designs underwent major changes after Chapman's pitch; they were originally very realistic, with unique fur and textures based on their breeds, but they were later simplified and made more cartoonish. The visual appearance of Cap'n Turbot, mainly his distinctive bead eyes and large nose, was based on the design of Chapman's Bob the Builder character. Ryder's hairstyle was based on that of Ronnen Harary.
In January 2012, Spin Master began approaching television broadcasters. The company negotiated a broadcast partnership with Nickelodeon, and the network first announced that it had picked up PAW Patrol at the 2013 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The series became Spin Master's first solely-owned intellectual property (IP) once it was released in August 2013.
Since it began production, the show's animation has been provided by Guru Studio. In a 2016 interview with Maclean's Magazine, Guru president Frank Falcone stated that his studio's animators were originally suspicious of the show's "toyetic" concept. The series' rock-inspiredoriginal score was composed by the Ontario-based group Voodoo Highway Music & Post. The opening theme song, and the ending song used in each episode include vocals performed by Scott Simons.
With each season of the show, new supporting characters and themes are introduced in its episodes. In a May 2016 interview for the Toronto Star, Spin Master president Ben Gadbois stated that his company would continue to introduce additional characters and concepts to increase the franchise's longevity and to expand upon the success of tie-in merchandise. In August of the same year, Ronnen Harary explained that these changes were intended to keep the show's content "fresh" and "relevant".
The series has been sold to TV networks in over 160 countries.
PAW Patrol has received largely positive reviews from critics. Common Sense Media reviewer Emily Ashby gave the show a four-star rating, stating that "perhaps the show's best attribute is how it demonstrates the value of thoughtful problem-solving". Randy Miller of DVD Talk recommended the show, calling it "packed with all the harmless action and cornball jokes that kids ... can't help but snicker at".Stuff.co.nz reviewer Pattie Pegler also wrote favourably of the series, but felt that some of the characters "seem rather arbitrary, like Rocky the Recycling Pup".The About Group's Carey Bryson gave the series a mixed review, criticizing its "formulaic" nature but affirming that the "show is not without funny moments".
A research study, commissioned by Sky in March 2016, reported that 16 per cent of surveyed British and Irish children named PAW Patrol as their favourite program.
Criticism had been directed toward the show's unequal gender representation, because initially the team of dogs is primarily male and included only one female character. Brandy King of the Center on Media and Child Health "found the gender imbalance immediately noticeable" while watching the program.Today's Parent noted in April 2015 that PAW Patrol images appeared frequently on Twitter with the hashtag "#IncludeTheGirls". In response to these criticisms, the writers added an additional female character named Everest, a Siberian Husky and snow rescue dog, starting in season 2.
Some of the pups were accused of behaving manipulatively towards younger viewers in a 2018 study which focused on app-based advertising techniques. Tara Brady, in their review of the 'Mighty Pups' DVD release the same year, described it as a "shadowy attempt to normalise state-sponsored thuggery".
PAW Patrol has received consistently high ratings on Nickelodeon. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman cited the series as a source of Nickelodeon's 2014 ratings growth. It ranked as the highest-rated, preschool TV program in the United States in November 2013 and held that position throughout the spring 2014 season. The spot was briefly overtaken by Team Umizoomi reruns in July 2016, but PAW Patrol reclaimed the title later the same month.Bloomberg L.P. described PAW Patrol as part of a "creative resurgence" that increased the Nick Jr. channel's viewership in 2016. At Nickelodeon's 2016 upfront presentation for future advertisers, Cyma Zarghami named PAW Patrol one of two preschool shows to have significantly helped boost ratings for the network (the other being Blaze and the Monster Machines).
In March 2015, two back-to-back premieres of the show ranked among the top twenty weekday showings (among total viewers) in Australia. In May 2015, it was reported that PAW Patrol broadcasts on TF1 had been viewed by 45 per cent of households in France with preschool-aged children.
In November 2017, Ronnen Harary confirmed that Spin Master is "currently considering whether to extend the PAW Patrol franchise into feature films at some point in the next 12 to 24 months." Animation tests were conducted in 2017 to measure how the characters "would translate onto the big screen" and the company is currently in the process of developing a film script.
On May 9, 2019 it was confirmed during Spin Master's First Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call that an animated theatrical film based on PAW Patrol is in the works. They are targeting for a release date sometime in 2021.
On May 18, 2014, Spin Master introduced a toy line based on the television series at Toys "R" Us locations across Canada. The line was not distributed to international markets until June 22 of the same year. Dion Vlachos, a representative from Nickelodeon, was in charge of the U.S. product launch.
PAW Patrol has since become one of Spin Master's most profitable brands. Analysts for the National Bank of Canada reported that toys and games based on the show accounted for approximately $245 million U.S. (or 25 per cent) of Spin Master's gross product sales for 2015. Spin Master chairman Anton Rabie noted in August 2016 that the "continuing strength" of PAW Patrol toys, in addition to new acquisitions and movie licenses, made up 40.5 per cent of the firm's second quarter revenue. Marketing manager Emma Eden said that the toys were responsible for increasing the company's presence in the preschool market. Throughout 2016, Spin Master's revenue grew more in this market than in any other toy category. PAW Patrol has been cited as the sole reason for this.
The NPD Group named PAW Patrol the top new toy brand of 2015 in the United Kingdom. The group also reported that it was the best-selling preschool license in France in the first quarter of 2015.Dave Brandon, the chief executive officer of Toys "R" Us, listed the PAW Patroller vehicle toy as one of the 2015 holiday season's "hottest" items.Argos the U.K. catalogue retailer included the PAW Patrol Air Patroller vehicle on its list of the toys it predicts will be bestsellers during the Christmas 2016 season. In 2018, it was estimated that total retail sales to date were approximately US$7 billion.
In April 2016, a stage show titled PAW Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue was announced. The show features the PAW Patrol characters competing in a race. It toured Canada, the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines. A sequel show, titled PAW Patrol Live: The Great Pirate Adventure, was announced in June 2017. It follows the PAW Patrol as they rescue Cap'n Turbot from a cavern, and it will tour the same countries as its predecessor. The shows are produced by VStar Entertainment Group, which is best known for producing the popular Sesame Street Live touring shows for 37 years.
Mascots based on the PAW Patrol characters have appeared at events across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. They joined an "Etch A Sketch Day" celebration at Spin Master's office in Toronto on July 26, 2016. The characters, along with replicas of the Lookout tower from the program, were included as part of the Nick Jr. Play Date Tour in autumn 2015. Marshall and Chase made appearances at shopping malls throughout Nottingham, Suffolk, and Somerset in the U.K. in the summer of 2016. Multiple meet-and-greet events attracted far more attendees than expected, with some reaching over 5,000 visitors. They appeared for the first time in Northern Ireland at Glenarm Castle on July 13, 2016. They are scheduled to appear regularly in a Nickelodeon-themed area of the Thurrock's Lakeside Shopping Centre located on the outskirts of London, England.
Like many children's properties, unauthorized productions and events using copyright infringing costumes featuring the show's characters have attracted the attention of Spin Master and Nickelodeon. In February 2016, several Greene King pubs in the U.K. scheduled breakfast events with costumed characters modelled after the pups. Nickelodeon forced the chain to stop every event by threatening a lawsuit if they went ahead. There was some consumer backlash as a result, but the events were not held.