Best Kids Books About Dogs

A Roundup of the Best 46 Books About Dogs

Updated Apr. 8, 2019

Man's best friend! Known for their loyalty and friendliness, dogs have a special place in many people's hearts. If you're a dog lover (or happen to live with one!) we know you'll love this collection of books to read together from classics like Clifford and Old Yeller to new friends like Ruff and Doug.

Officer Buckle and Gloria book
#1
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

It has been easily more than a decade since I read this book aloud and yet whenever someone brings up the book Officer Buckle and Gloria, I immediately think, "Always stick with your buddy." Officer Buckle is a roundish, straightish, serious police officer who makes a career of giving school presentations on safety tips. Once Gloria, a precocious and animated K-9, becomes his partner, their presentations get really entertaining. While the tips themselves are a little droll in their obviousness, Gloria's charades and Peggy Rathman's imaginative illustrations will have them laughing in the aisles. Officer Buckle and Gloria are much better together than singly; they learn how important it is to stick together.

The children at Napville Elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle's safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives his safety speeches.

Ruff!: And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day book
#2
Ruff!: And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day
Written and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is about making new friends, helping each other find new homes, and being busy! I love that Ruff found new friends to live by and that they were all happy working hard together. This book is pretty cute and I love how the animals all express themselves when they're happy, excited, or trying to get each other's attention. :) This story would be great to talk about emotions and how those, in turn, lead to certain actions. Cute illustrations, too!

Meet Ruff the Dog, star of the picture book Ruff! And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day. He’s an adorable new animal character created by bestselling illustrator Caroline Jayne Church. What Ruff wants most is to make some friends. He accidentally digs up the house of a little grey mouse named Hubble. By the time Ruff helps Hubble make a new home, he has a friend. Then he and Hubble decide to help Lottie, a duck who has also lost her home. And soon Ruff has a second friend! Caroline Jayne Chruch’s full-color illustrations bring all the animals in her charming story to life.

McDuff Moves In book
#3
McDuff Moves In
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Grammy

The most fitting word I can find for this book is appealing. McDuff, a little grey dog that no one seems to want, is surprisingly appealing for a stray. It is easy to see how life with Lucy and Fred would be appealing for McDuff--from their lovely home furnishings to their cozy habits, their picture-perfect life is missing just one thing--a dog. The text is on the spare side as if told from the perspective of the dog. Rosemary Wells' vibrant and warm illustrations give the story real heart. Although I am not sure which decade she was aiming for, I have always liked the period feel of the illustrations. Our family has never had a dog but, in the context of this book, even I find the idea of having a dog appealing.

One rainy night, a little white dog needed something to eat and a place to sleep. He went looking and found something he didn't expect--a home.

Floaty book
#4
Floaty
Written and illustrated by John Himmelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A delightful book filled about the wonderful friendship that develops between one very crotchety old man and one very light dog. This particular dog's unusual proclivity for floating adds humor and a novelty to the story that makes this a fresh take on a familiar tale of friendship and the illustrations beautifully convey the disposition of the old man and his changing feelings towards Floaty. Utterly enjoyable!

Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine. One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling. What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected—and finding friendship that takes you to new heights.

Gaston book
#5
Gaston
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

It seems two dogs may have been taken home with the wrong pup families, but they decide they are exactly where they're supposed to be. :) This fun and beautifully illustrated book has a great message about being yourself.

A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson. This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters. But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?

Harry the Dirty Dog book
#6
Harry the Dirty Dog
Written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away. He plays outside all day long, digging and sliding in everything from garden soil to pavement tar. By the time he returns home, Harry is so dirty he looks like a black dog with white spots. His family doesn't even recognize him!

Clifford the Big Red Dog book
#7
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Emily Elizabeth loves her huge dog Clifford even though he's far from perfect.

A Dog Named Doug book
#8
A Dog Named Doug
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Matt Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The typography is my favorite part of this book—the way the illustrator uses the tunnels to create the words is fantastic and fun! There's no great moral or lesson to this story (mostly just a dog being a little naughty and digging) but it's humorous and the illustrations really make it.

Meet Doug. Doug is a dog that loves to dig. But when Doug digs he doesn’t just dig holes in the backyard. He digs...ditches the size of tractors! He digs...tunnels through gold mines! He even digs his way into...the White House! But not even the Secret Service can stop this digging doggy, because when Doug digs, oh boy, does Doug DIG!

Good Dog book
#9
Good Dog
Written and illustrated by Cori Doerffeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This charming picture book—from the author-illustrator of The Rabbit Listened and Little Bunny Foo Foo: The Real Story—follows an adorable stray puppy who exemplifies what it truly means to be a “good dog.” When a puppy in need of a friend follows a kind girl into town, he lands himself into all sorts of trouble. He gets lost. He’s nearly run over. And he gets chased out of a bakery for being a “bad dog.” But when the pup and the girl reunite in the park and she leaves behind her favorite doll, the puppy has a chance to prove just what a good dog he really is! This heartwarming story told with bold, beautiful illustrations and sparse text is a perfect read-aloud book and great for beginning readers. Families who enjoyed Kelly DiPucchio’s bestselling Gaston, Patrick McDonnell’s lovable characters, and Mike Twohy’s award-winning Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! will fall in love with Cori Doerrfeld’s Good Dog.

Can I Be Your Dog? book
#10
Can I Be Your Dog?
Written and illustrated by Troy Cummings
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A dog looking for a home sends letters to prospective owners on Butternut Street, with surprising results.

Good Dog, Carl book
#11
Good Dog, Carl
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

It was really interesting for me, coming back to this book after so many years. It reminded me of both The Cat in the Hat and Nana from Peter Pan. A few of the events in the book reminded me of our neighbor's old dog, Max, a German shepherd/great Dane mix who seemed competent enough to be left to mind the baby. Other scenes, though called for a little suspension of reality, like when the baby went down the laundry chute and landed perfectly fine in a pile of clothing at least one story down in the house. The illustrations, rich with color, are wonderful and the very limited text allows for plenty of opportunities to talk about what is happening on each page, including plausibility, if you are so inclined. Carl is the dog that every family needs and wants.

Available in paperback for the first time, the modern classic that introduced the beloved baby-sitting rottweiler to the world.

Land Shark book
#12
Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The illustrations for this story are beyond amazing and add so much additional detail, emotion, suspense and depth to this story that was already pretty great to begin with. As a mom, I don't love the destruction that this dog wreaks without consequence all across the house, but I do love the awesome vocabulary and the fact that although it does take a while, the little boy is able to adjust his expectations and revel in the wonderful gift he WAS given.

The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him...a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don't want turns out to be exactly what you need.

Dog Loves Drawing book
#13
Dog Loves Drawing
Written and illustrated by Louise Yates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a cute book about imagination and the fun adventures it will take you. :) I love that this book starts with the dog unsure of what to think up next, and that it gives the idea to doodle to gain some inspiration. :)

Dog loves books, but one day he receives a strange one in the mail—it's blank! Soon, Dog realizes that this book is not for reading, but for drawing. Before long, Dog is doodling and drawing himself into a new world, full of friends and surprises.

Everyone Sleeps book
#14
Everyone Sleeps
Written and illustrated by Marcellus Hall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

"A wide-awake dog looks for a friend in a nighttime world full of sleeping animals"--

Maggi and Milo book
#15
Maggi and Milo
Written by Juli Brenning and illustrated by Priscilla Burris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Maggi and her dog Milo work as partners in perfecting the art of froghunting.

Madeline's Rescue book
#16
Madeline's Rescue
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.” Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not even mice. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years! When Madeline falls into the river Seine and nearly drowns, a courageous canine comes to her rescue. Now Genevieve the dog is Madeline’s cherished pet, and the envy of all the other girls. What can be done when there’s just not enough hound to go around?

If You Give a Dog a Donut book
#17
If You Give a Dog a Donut
Written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Chaos might ensue if you were to give a dog a donut.

Lazy Dave book
#18
Lazy Dave
Written and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dave is a dog. Dave is a dog who loves to sleep all day long. Lilly thinks Dave is the laziest dog in the world! But maybe Dave isn't as lazy as Lilly thinks. . . . Find out what Dave really does all day in this debut picture book from author-illustrator Jarvis!

Lenny & Lucy book
#19
Lenny & Lucy
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Peter and his father are moving to a new house beyond the dark unfriendly woods. When they arrive at their new home, Peter wants to turn back. Fortunately, he has Harold for company, but Harold is just a dog and can't help Peter. Scared of the things hidden in the woods, Peter makes a tall pile of pillows. He stiches and sews. He pushes and pulls. And when he is done, he has Lenny, Guardian of the Bridge, to protect him and Harold. Lenny is a good guard but Peter worries that Lenny will get lonely out by the woods all by himself, so he makes Lucy, who is a good friend. Together, Lenny, Lucy, Peter, and Harold discover that this new place isn't so scary after all.

The Firefighter book
#20
The Firefighter
Written by Jenny Goebel and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Brr-ring! Up pops a fireman at the sound of the fire station alarm, and he rushes with his crew to put out a house fire in a nearby neighborhood. The family is safe, but one of their Dalmatian puppies is missing! It’s up to the brave fireman to rescue the pup from the burning house—and in the process, he finds himself a new firehouse friend.

I'll Always Love You book
#21
I'll Always Love You
Written and illustrated by Hans Wilhelm
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A child's sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the remembrance of saying to it every nignt, "I'll always love you."

Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) book
#22
Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later)
Written by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Sara and Susan share tea, cookies, crab cakes, and stories about hats when they visit their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie.

Love Is My Favorite Thing book
#23
Love Is My Favorite Thing
Written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Starring an enthusiastic pooch whose joy, optimism and love know no bounds, this lively picture book is based on Emma Chichester Clark’s own dog, and joyfully celebrates unconditional love. Plum has lots of favorite things—catching sticks, her bear, her bed—but really, LOVE is her absolute favorite thing. She loves her family and all the things they do together. Sometimes, however, Plum’s exuberance causes trouble, and she just can’t help being naughty. But fortunately, love is such a great thing that even when she makes mistakes, Plum’s family still adores her.

The First Dog book
#24
The First Dog
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, set against a spectacular Ice Age landscape. Kip the cave boy bounds along the trail home with a sack of warm and tasty Woolly Rhino ribs. If he could only get rid of pesky Paleowolf, who follows him, hoping for a taste of those delicious ribs! But Paleowolf’s presence turns out to be useful: His warnings save Kip from the Cave Bear, the Mighty Mammoth, and the frightening Saber-Toothed Cat. So Kip offers to share his food—if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. With a bark and a wag of his tail, Paleowolf agrees to this bargain, and Kip christens his new friend “Dog.” In this exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, Jan Brett creates a spectacular Ice Age landscape populated with the massive animals of the time and bordered with images inspired by cave paintings and Ice Age artifacts. She convincingly portrays the growth of the warm bond between man and animal that must, long, long ago, have resulted in the first domesticated dog.

Skippyjon Jones book
#25
Skippyjon Jones
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Holy guacamole! Skippyjon Jones is 10 years old! He’s fearless, he’s fun, he’s a hero to all! Enjoy a special edition of the book that launched a thousand Chimichangoes with a note from author Judy Schachner about how the character came into being. There’s a photo of the real Skippyjon Jones, and even a reversible jacket with El Skippito in his mask-ito on the other side. So hold on to your mice and beans – this book is the fiesta you’ve been waiting for!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.