21 of the Greatest Children’s Books About Dogs

A dog’s friendly disposition, combined with their ability to connect to humans, making them one of the most beloved animals in the world. Some of kids’ first best friends are dogs and the relationship between a child and their dog can be one of the most tender relationships of their life. We’ve compiled the best children’s books about dogs — some board books for babies and toddlers, picture books for young readers, nonfiction about how to care for dogs, and chapter books that tell heartwarming stories about the special relationship between a child and their dog.

If your child is learning to read, one way that will help is to have them read books to your dog! Research shows that if a child reads aloud to a dog, they will help children read better and be more comfortable reading out loud. These

Whether it’s a picture book about what a dog does all day or chapters full of adventure and love for dogs, these books have something for children of all ages.

Fiction Children’s Books About Dogs

Here are some beloved children’s board books and stories about dogs for young audiences.


A Ball for Daisy - children's books about dogs

A Ball for Daisy

By Chris Raschka
Ages 3 – 7 years | Board Book

This award-winning book may be wordless, but children will be able to understand through the artwork the emotions of a dog who treasures a toy and grieves when it is taken away. A heartwarming story with a sweet ending.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Excellent Ed Book - children's books about dogs

Excellent Ed

Written by Stacy McAnulty, Illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book

Ed isn’t allowed to eat at the table or sit on the couch, and he’s part of a family who is good at a lot of things. But what does Ed excel at? This is a charming story about self-esteem, sibling rivalry, and the lesson that everyone, even dogs, has strengths.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


The Best Days Are Dog Days -  children's books about dogs

The Best Days Are Dog Days

By Aaron Meshon
Ages 3 – 5 years | Picture Book

With vibrant and expressive illustrations, this joyful book accounts the day of a little girl and her pug dog and all the similarities and differences between them.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship - children's books about dogs

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Ages 5 – 9 years | Picture Book

The beautiful story of a friendship between Rescue, a black lab, and Jessica, a girl who has one leg due to an amputation. This heartwarming tale is loosely based on a true story and will help children learn about people with disabilities and the extraordinary abilities of service dogs.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Officer Buckle & Gloria - children's books about dogs

Officer Buckle & Gloria

By Peggy Rathmann
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book

Officer Buckle could never quite get his students to listen to his safety rules until a police dog Gloria joins him and mimics each lesson. The illustrations are hilarious and teach safety as well as how to treat your friends and work together.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Dog Loves Books - children's books about dogs

Dog Loves Books

By Louise Yates
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book

A little dog loves books so much he opens up his own bookstore, but he doesn’t have any customers yet, so he spends his time reading. A sweet story about a love of reading and how books can become friends. The sequel Dog Loves Drawing is equally charming.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings -  children's books about dogs

Can I Be Your Dog?

By Troy Cummings
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book

Arfy is a dog in need of a home and begins to write letters across town asking people if he can be their dog. He is a cheerful, friendly dog and this humorous story teaches children that no dog is too old to be adopted and loved.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Clifford the Big Red Dog - children's books about dogs

Clifford the Big Red Dog

By Norman Bridwell
Ages 2 – 7 years | Picture Book

Clifford the Big Red Dog is just that: a really big red dog. He’s an adorably bumbling dog that makes mistakes sometimes but always means well. This is a classic series most adults will know, too and the first of many in the Clifford series.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Where's Spot? Eric Hill -  children's books about dogs

Where’s Spot?

By Eric Hill
Ages 0 – 4 years | Board Book

Try to find Spot in this book by lifting flaps. This book is perfect for babies, toddlers and preschoolers learning spatial concepts like under, behind, etc. This book is frequently requested to read!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Go Dog Go! - children's books about dogs

Go, Dog. Go!

By P.D. Eastman
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book

The is one of the best books for children beginning to read. The words and illustrations are simple and descriptive, and it’s been a classic fun book about dogs and all they do.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Gaston -  children's books about dogs

Gaston

Written by Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book

This humorous story is about two dogs who get switched at birth. But after switching back, they discover that they are actually in the perfect family and that families are built on love, not who you look like. The whimsical illustrations and high-quality paper make this a great book to give as a gift.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Chapter Books About Dogs

All of these chapter books are timeless tales of the friendship between a child and their dog, and the adventures they get into. We love these classic children’s books about dogs and each is loved by kids of all ages.

Because of Winn-Dixie - children's books about dogs

Because of Winn-Dixie

By Kate DiCamillo
Ages 9 – 12 years | Chapter Book

A beloved story about a ten-year-old who goes to the grocery store on a summer day and comes home with a dog she found. It’s because of this dog, Winn-Dixie, that she begins to make friends, learn about her mother, and just about everything else that happens that summer is because of her new friend. The characters are engaging and the story will capture readers of all ages.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


“The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford - children's books about dogs

The Incredible Journey

By Sheila Burnford
Ages 8 – 14 years | Chapter Book

The book, that inspired the movie Homeward Bound, is about two dogs and a cat set off on a journey to find their owners. It is a story of adventure, friendship, bravery and the love of a pet that will follow you home. This is one of our favorite children’s books about dogs!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


“Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson - children's books about dogs

Old Yeller

By Fred Gipson
Ages 8 – 14 years | Chapter Book

An exciting tale about a boy and his dog in the post-Civil War era living on the frontier. This coming-of-age book has captivated audiences of older children and adults for decades.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern Grows

By Wilson Rawls
Ages 9 – 12 years | Chapter Book

Set in the Ozarks, Billy saves his money for two dogs to help him hunt. Together they become a team and set off on an adventure. This is another fantastic middle-grade literature that children will remember as a classic when they are older.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Lassie Come-Home, children's books about dogs

Lassie Come-Home

Written by Eric Knight, Illustrated by Marguerite Kirmse
Ages 8 – 12 years | Chapter Book

Lassie is a collie who makes a long journey to find the boy she loves. It is one of the best-loved stories about a dog and the love she has for her owner. The sketch illustrations sprinkled throughout the book will keep children engaged as they read. Such a wonderful story!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard - children's books about dogs

Big Red

By Jim Kjelgaard
Ages 7 – 14 years | Chapter Book

Danny is entrusted with the task of training an Irish Setter, Big Red, and together they explore the woods and go on great adventures in the wilderness. A wonderful book about courage, friendship, and the love great love of a boy and his dog. If you enjoyed this book, you may be interested to read the others in the Big Red series.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Non-Fiction Children’s Books About Dogs

We love these kid’s books about learning about the different kinds of dogs, how to take care of a dog, and tips for teaching your dog tricks.

National Geographic Kids Everything Dogs - children's books about dogs

National Geographic Kids Everything Dogs

By Becky Baines
Ages 7 – 12 years | National Geographic Informational Book

Interesting facts on a dog’s habits, different kinds of breeds and activities to do with dogs. It is packed with plenty of fun dog photos in action on thick, glossy pages, and has a lot of information, making it a great children’s book about dogs that older kids will enjoy.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


Puppy Training for Kids -  children's books about dogs

Puppy Training for Kids

Written by Colleen Pelar, Photography by Amber Johnson
Ages 8 – 12 years | Dog Training Book

Teach your children the responsibilities of caring for a puppy, including what supplies are needed, house training, socializing your puppy, understanding behaviors, and how to have fun and keep your puppy safe. This is a great book on how dogs think to get them to obey and have fun with their owners.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition - children's books about dogs

101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition

By Kyra Sundance
Ages 8 – 12 years | Dog Training Book

This book includes games to play with your dog, tricks to teach, arts and crafts, and other fun activities to do with your dog. The instructions are clear and the photographs are helpful in demonstrating each activity. Your child may turn into a dog trainer by the end of it!

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


How to Speak Dog - A Guide to Decoding Dog Language

How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language

By Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman
Ages 8 – 12 years | Resource Book

If your dog wags his tail a certain way, what is he saying? Learn what physical cues your dog is giving you through their body language and barks. This book is fascinating for adults and fun for kids.

Buy Online: Amazon | IndieBound


These are only just a few of the great children’s books about dogs. If you have a favorite book that you would like considered to be featured, please feel free to contact us!

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Ginna Neel

Author: Ginna Neel

Ginna is a writer, wife, mom to two daughters, and founder of theKidBookNook.com. She lives in Durham, NC, and is passionate about reading quality, clever, and inclusive books to her kids. Our mission here at the Kid Book Nook is to foster a love of reading in children, starting in the home. Read more posts on raising a reader. Happy reading!