They're cute. They're cuddly. They're frisky. And they just can't stay out of trouble!
—The cover blurb.The All-American Pups series is a set of short chapter books about a group of puppies who live in the same town and have adventures together. The series was written by Susan Saunders and illustrated by Henry Cole. The series followed the perspective of various protagonists and continued for six books.
This series includes examples of the following tropes:
- All Dogs Are Purebred: More than half of the main cast (Sheenanote , Tracker note , and Fritz note ) are purebreds. The other two, Jake and Rosie, are mutts.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Fritz is at least one of the younger members. He is somewhat klutzy, reluctant to be too far from home, and a self-admitted Lovable Coward. He tends to be seen as the baby of the group by humans, the other pups, and himself.
- Bears Are Bad News: Claude Coyote leaves the pups alone and runs when he thinks he hears a bear, and Jake is worried about having to deal with it. Turns out, the bear noises were only Fritz's hoarse barking.
- Cats Are Mean: Puffy and Mr. Purr, the local cats, love teasing Fritz and making nasty comments to the others.
- Dog Stereotype:
- Subverted with Fritz. As a German Shepherd, he would be expected to be The Ace, the The Hero, or the Angry Guard Dog. Most of the time he's the Lovable Coward.
- Also subverted with Waldo, Jake's housemate. As a sheepdog, he'd be expected to be friendly. Instead, he's the Grumpy Old Man.
- Played With with Amber. She is female, as most poodles in stories are, but rather than being a Rich Jerk, she's a puppy who doesn't know what it's like to do anything besides sitting and getting your nails done...until the end of the book.
- Expressive Ears: Fritz, the most nervous of the group, always has one ear standing up and the other slumping.
- Happily Adopted:
- Jake begins the first book in a shelter but is soon rescued by Mr. Casey.
- Rosie, who is thrown out of a car in the first book, is adopted by John, the local deli owner, at the end.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Claude Coyote doesn't seem to have a problem with the idea of eating puppies, even though they're both canines. He doesn't kill any of the heroes, though.
- I Will Find You: Rosie is sure that her first owner, Sam, didn't abandon her and goes back to find him, causing the others to go after her. Unfortunately, when she arrives, she finds her apartment building in the process of being knocked down.
- Lovable Coward: Fritz, who freaks out at everything from the local cats to costumed humans. He's friendly and the others like him, but he tends to be thought of as the baby of the group.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: In Camp Barkalot, Fritz puts his fear aside and uses his strength to rescue the other pups (and their new friend Bella) from drowning.
- Meaningful Echo: In Camp Barkalot. After Fritz's Freak Out! at the costume party is mocked, Rosie tells him, "Fritz, you're famous." At the end of the book, when the other dogs are crowding around to see "the hero", she repeats the words, this time without sarcasm.
- Mr. Muffykins: A Gender Inverted version; Amber from Uptown Poodle, Downtown Pups, is a miniature poodle who is obsessively spoiled by her owner — however, not in a way that dogs would actually enjoy. In what comes off as a bit of a deconstruction of this trope, she is used to things like getting her nails painted and has seen so few other dogs that, when the protagonists come over to say hello, she freaks out, scratching at the door and screaming, "Mommy!" Her bark ultimately comes in handy when Sheena is overcome by the heat in a parked car, but Amber keeps barking. The end of the story shows that her owner is now more willing to let her be a puppy, and not just a precious princess.
- The Nose Knows:
- In the first book, Tracker, a beagle puppy, follows Rosie's scent all the way back to her city.
- In Camp Barkalot, Fritz "pretend[s] he's Tracker" and traces the others' scent trails to find them when it's too dark to see.
- Stealing the Credit: Averted. When one of the campers asks Bella if she's "the hero", Bella clears up the misconception and passes the credit on to Fritz.
- Wicked Weasel: Subverted. The ferret in On the Scent of Trouble causes trouble, but he's only acting out because of his improper living conditions and becomes an ally in the end.