Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog” as Want to Read:
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  3,673 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
Hank has been accused of murder! In a fit of despair, Hank resigns his position as Head of Ranch Security and decides to join the outlaw coyotes. There he's known as Hunk (that's Hank in coyote language). Hank meets Missy Coyote, sister to Scraunch -- the meanest, roughest, toughest, most notorious coyote in the whole country. If Scraunch found Hank with his sister... Well
Audiocd, 0 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Maverick Books (first published 1980)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Panda Incognito You don't need to worry about the sequence. My brother started with book sixty-something, and he had no problem. Each book is an individual story,…moreYou don't need to worry about the sequence. My brother started with book sixty-something, and he had no problem. Each book is an individual story, introducing the characters and setting anew for those who haven't been along for the whole series.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 07, 2008 Kami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know you'll never believe me, but there are some of the most hilarious books for kids out there. But you have to get them on tape or cd.... the author reads them and does the best voices and makes it even better. I mean like way way better. The best is if you have or have ever owned a dog. Because it's all about this dog who does all the normal dumb dog stuff but takes it incredibly seriously. Considers himself the head of ranch security and the world might end if he doesn't bark at the mailma ...more
Rebecca McNutt
I loved this book when I was a kid. Some relative bought it for me for Christmas one year and it's one of those books that doesn't try to make everything cheerful and fake, but still carries many positive messages for kids and even adult readers.
Kayla Edwards
I've always been a Hank fan and now my students are too! Our elementary book club just finished this one up last week and I'm excited to say that it had the best reaction yet. I was pleasantly surprised at how fascinated they were with Hank; I now have all the other books in the series flying off my shelves. My crew gives Hank two thumbs up!
KJ Shadows
Oct 21, 2011 KJ Shadows rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to add these books because I remember them so fondly back in my childhood. Guaranteed I'd probably laugh if I went back and read these. It sounds silly but these books inspired me to learn to write and read lots of books at a VERY early age. I read much younger because my best friend was reading these books. I remember in class we use to get our moms to buy different ones and we'd switch. I read all of them which was a huge feat, I think it went up to like a 100? No Joke.

I remember I want
Dec 29, 2014 DocHolidavid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Now.. Now...Hank the Cowdog is supposedly written for children, but it just don't seem that way to me.
Course, now, I'm not the sharpest light bulb on the block, but the subtle humor therein seems a little lofty for the average 6 year old. Course I find some of it above my 60 year old noggin.

Okay laugh if you want to. But when the chips are down, you just spent your last dime on toilet paper, your wife just put your bedroll in the doghouse, ya ain't seen a rain cloud since the Yorktown armistice
Nov 28, 2007 Vijay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children, adults w/ child-like senses of humor
Having read this book and each one that follows in the series, I consider myself an aficionado of Hank's adventures. Hank is a lovable--if somewhat dim-bulbed-- protagonist who captures the heart of the reader and has you rooting for him as he goes head to head with the Pete the barncat, the turkey buzzards, the resident coyotes, and the bumbling ineptitude of his sidekick, Drover. Maybe I'm biased coming from a rural background, but these books are great!
I don't get what all the fuss is about: either the folks who are completely opposed to lowly Hank or those rabid fans of his....

These books are funny, but much of the tongue-in-cheek humor no doubt goes over a 9 year old's head (which seems to be roughly the target audience judging from reading level). I found the "voice" in the book (including the dead pan humor) to be DEAD ON with an old Texan looking back on his adventures. If you need corroboration of that, I'll let you read my Texan uncle'
Lindsey Reyes
Apr 27, 2009 Lindsey Reyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lopez
Hank the Cowdog
head of ranch security.
This cowdog is a child and adult favorite. The ways this dog views his "job" and the events that take place is too funny. Hank and Grover have many exciting and entertaining mysteries. This book is fun and makes me (as an adult) laugh. Definitely perfect for chapter read alouds.
Jan 01, 2014 Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many good ones in this series. Growing up in Texas, this series filled my evenings and school hours with great adventures. Hank and Grover should have a home in any school library.
Michelle Isenhoff
Jan 27, 2012 Michelle Isenhoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hank is an Australian shepherd employed on an American ranch. Being “Head of Ranch Security,” as he proudly informs us, “requires a keen mind, a thick skin, and a peculiar devotion to duty. I mean, you put in sixteen-eighteen hours a day. You’re on call day and night. Your life is on the line every time you go out on patrol. You’re doing jobs that nobody else wants to do because of the danger.”

The Adventures of Hank the Cowdog is a collection of the scrapes he gets into as Head of Ranch Security
Aug 27, 2012 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: older-kids
This is difficult to rate. My son loved it and it is a good book for reluctant readers. It is about a dog called Hank who is head of security on a ranch and has an ego big enough for the job.

The reason it is hard to rate is because, even though it is basically a cute book, there were a couple things I did not like. The first was when Hank and the other dog, Drover, bullied a chained-up Boxer. It was unnecessary to the storyline and did not come to a satisfying conclusion. This sort of bullying
Neil Coulter
Jan 07, 2017 Neil Coulter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one; other Hank books are better
We'd read several other Hank books, from later in the series, and enjoyed them a lot. So I thought it would be fun to go back to the original book and see how it all started. It was kind of surprising. This book seemed more gross and less sympathetic than what we'd read before. Where the other books relied on verbal wit and clever use of dialect, this one stoops to more of a Captain Underpants level of humor: peeing, vomiting, eating gross things. Hank is always a little clueless, and mildly cru ...more
Apr 16, 2008 jOsEpHiNe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Younger readers, Young Adult readers just for enjoyment
This review is for the series. The very LONG LONG LONG series, at that. But the great thing these books is that you don't have to read the whole series to actually understand one if you pick it up.

I like these, especially just for humor and light-heartedness. They might be more serious for younger readers, but personally I listened to them (on audio book. the narrator's great because they were fun. And if you do read one or two of the books, they're probably easy reading for you (especially if
Marsha Lynn
Feb 07, 2016 Marsha Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In January my BF and I checked out a couple of our favorite children's books on a date at the library. I checked out The Goose Girl and my BF checked out Hank the Cowdog. He LOVED these books as a kid and thinks he may have actually read the whole series (there's about 30 some of them).

I wasn't quite as enraptured by this book as he was. Probably because I'm reading it about 20 years too late to be part of the intended audience. I could see how a young boy or girl would really enjoy them though.
Jacqueline Wright
Feb 03, 2013 Jacqueline Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the entire Hank the Cowdog series. These books were my childhood! Wonderful and lovable characters who have such unique personalities with a (so far) endless supply of entertaining plots. Ranging from utterly comedic (humor in EVERY book, while sometimes it's the main theme) to frustratingly touching (Oooh, right in the feels!!). Minus one star simply for all the thankless torment my dear Hank has had to go through (which I suffered vicariously). Honestly a terrific book serie ...more
Oct 03, 2013 Summer rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth, humor, dogs, audiobook
I think this is one of those series that was funnier when I was a kid. I thought I'd go through the audiobooks just for fun and posterity, and I realized a few things I almost wish I didn't...

This book is full of awful western stereotypes, and Hank is kind of an asshole...

Plus, "I'm just a worthless coyote" ? Really? ... awful.

I like the sound effects and music present in the audiobooks though. It really made it kind of fun to listen to. I would recommend the audiobooks before the actual books t
Fun read aloud book. However, this book was more violent than I remembered - especially for an entry into Hank the Cowdog books. Still Jonah wanted me to keep reading and wasn't too scared, although he says he doesn't like the coyotes fighting.

Reread with Clara: This book is so much fun as an audio book - it has humor for kid and adult listeners. I particularly love the introduction to Wallace and Junior. Clara was scared of the coyote fighting even at age 5, even though we reassured her that Ha
Monique Parrish
Sep 22, 2015 Monique Parrish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
8 blue
Hank the cow dog was a good book to read. Hank the cow dog by John R. Erickson was awesome. I say this because of hank he choose his buddy or co-cow dog Drover over the pack of coyotes and also the ranch. I love the part when hank talks like the coyotes like he says "My name hank". I love this book even if its about hundred pages long its good. I won't spoil it for you those are basic tip but the real adventure is in the book. Have fun reading Hank the Cow dog by John R. Erickson.
Linda Rowland
Mar 26, 2011 Linda Rowland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I know it is for younger folks but I had not read any of this series. Even with the simple stories it greatly entertains me. I plan to read the set. I was volunteering at the local library and found they do have the entire set now. I really enjoy seeing the world through this dog's eyes.
Morgan Stout
Sep 21, 2014 Morgan Stout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hank the Cowdog books are a tradition in my family. My grandma was a 2nd grade teacher ( she's retired now), and I believe she is the one that got my brother and I started on the series. They are all great books! Some of my favorites from my childhood. They are entertaining, funny, and easy to read.
Skylar Burris
Mar 02, 2015 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
These books are great to listen to on CD on a long road trip, because they are amusing for the whole family. We listened to several one summer when we had a "no iPad or DVD" rule for a particular vacation. I thought it was going to be a torturous trip with whining from the kids, but they were pretty content to listen to these.
Kt Bosserman
Apr 19, 2016 Kt Bosserman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, I forgot how great these books are. I just bought them for my six-year-old niece and she said the coyotes crack her up, which made me remember that the coyotes might be super duper racist, so I read it again to be sure. Yeah... Yeah, it's kinda super duper racist. :-/
This was really fun. However, after you have read about 5 ot 6 in the series you have read them all. They were very predictable but funny and kids love it. Because of the predictability I lost interest.
Jan 19, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The chapter about the Boxer was so hilarious. Especially since I had a Boxer at the time I read it. My students love these books too. I have quite a few, and most of them are checked out at any one time.
Mary Havens
We all loved it. I'm giving it 4.5 stars though because I feel that the coyotes, although well written, were a little stereotypically racist towards Native Americans. Hank is awesome and we look forward to reading more!
Jan 02, 2009 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Hank books. Kids 8-12 are probably the target audience but there is a level of humor that adults love. I didn't list all of the books written by Erickson but I've read them all laughing and grinning at all of Hank's adventures
Oct 29, 2013 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The entire series is awesome. Truly sets you in the mind of a dog. One of the most hilarious series out there. :)
Avery Devenport
Aug 16, 2014 Avery Devenport rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That was the best chapter book I ever read! Loved it!
Dec 11, 2013 Seth rated it really liked it
Recommended to Seth by: Shannon Bower
We listened to this as a family recently across a couple of short road trips. Hilarious!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • I, Freddy (The Golden Hamster Saga, #1)
  • Ginger (Dog Diaries, #1)
  • The Trouble with Tuck
  • Knights of the Kitchen Table (Time Warp Trio, #1)
  • Wolf Stalker (Mysteries in Our National Parks, #1)
  • Ruby Lu, Brave and True
  • Return to Howliday Inn (Bunnicula, #5)
  • The Adventures of Reddy Fox
  • The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster (Jigsaw Jones Mystery #1)
  • A Dog Called Kitty
  • Harry's Mad
  • Sugar Creek Gang #1-6 Set (Sugar Creek Gang)
  • Sirens and Sea Monsters (Tales from the Odyssey #3)
  • Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Hank Zipzer, #1)
  • The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse: A Chet Gecko Mystery
  • Freddy the Detective
  • Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye (Geronimo Stilton, #1)
  • Horrible Harry Cracks the Code
John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. Through the eyes of Hank the Cowdog, a smelly, smart-aleck Head of Ranch Security, Erickson gives readers a glimpse of daily life on a ranch in the West Texas Panhandle. This series of books and tapes is in school libraries across the country, has sold more than 7.6 million copies, is a B ...more
More about John R. Erickson...

Other Books in the Series

Hank the Cowdog (1 - 10 of 66 books)
  • The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog, #2)
  • It's a Dog's Life (Hank the Cowdog, #3)
  • Murder in the Middle Pasture (Hank the Cowdog, #4)
  • Faded Love (Hank the Cowdog, #5)
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Hank the Cowdog, #6)
  • The Curse of the Incredible Priceless Corncob (Hank the Cowdog, #7)
  • The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse (Hank the Cowdog, #8)
  • The Case of the Halloween Ghost (Hank the Cowdog, #9)
  • Every Dog Has His Day (Hank the Cowdog, #10)
  • Lost in the Dark Unchanted Forest (Hank the Cowdog, #11)

Share This Book

“Don’t take anything for granite. That’s what tombstones are made of.” 13 likes
“Coyotes can’t expect to keep friends when they eat them all the time.” 11 likes
More quotes…