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Lad: A Dog (Lad #1)

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,036 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
First published in 1919, Albert Payson Terhune's Lad: A Dog is actually a collection of immensely popular magazine stories. The hero is an extraordinary collie named Lad, "a thoroughbred in spirit as well as in blood." In each tale, Lad exhibits his pure strength of character as he fights off burglars, rescues an invalid child from a poisonous snake, wins ribbons in dog sh ...more
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published January 24th 1995 by Gramercy (first published 1919)
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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinMarley and Me by John GroganA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Great "Dog" Books
35th out of 754 books — 1,490 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
345th out of 3,387 books — 6,374 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 05, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as a child and I love it now! It made me adore collies. I've owned cocker spaniels, English springer spaniels, brittney spaniels, red-bone coonhounds, and a variety of mutts, but no collies. My next dog will be a collie! It's fun to see how I react to this book almost the same way now as I did when I was ten. If you haven't read it, then you're missing out!
Erma Talamante
Nov 28, 2015 Erma Talamante rated it really liked it
This will be revisited at some point, but it came up as a GoodReads recommendation, and I wanted to share my memory of this book.

I read my pop's old paperback copy of this, and encountered my first (traumatizing) experience with old paperback book-binding glue. It was tragic. I was 9, and not at fault, but since my father loved this book, I got chewed out thoroughly for the pages that were falling out like leaves from an autumn tree, regardless of how lovingly and reverently I treated this copy
Oct 12, 2012 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics

I can trace my earliest dog memory to the tender age of 3 or 4 to a collie; I vividly recall stroking the soft fur of a collie owned by my preschool neighbor Kim Francis (whose father always called me Isabel for no apparent reason except to tease me) and who moved away forever several years later.

I never saw or heard from Kim again but another neighbor later told me she had moved to CT and then attended CT College --who knows what next: if you ever read this, Kim, by some flukey inte
Devlin Scott
I read this book as a child...and like others, I fell in love with Lad and his adventures. I've grown up around dogs and what Albert Terhune says about them is still true today. Anyone can be a dog's owner but, only a dog can choose its master.

I recently reread this book and it brought back a flood of memories from my own childhood and the adventures I had with my best friend Pete. He was a white and red mix (Collie & German Shepard)and we owned the world together throughout his entire lifet
Kelly Boyce
Aug 19, 2010 Kelly Boyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a kid, the library had two hardcover editions of this book. I would read one copy, take it back, exchange it for the next. I read this book so many times I could recite it. I read his others as well, but this one, and this dog, remain a favorite. As an adult, I bought the book myself and it has a hallowed spot on my keeper shelf.
Jul 14, 2010 James rated it it was amazing
I first read this book as a child, and often re-read it growing up. I recently found an old copy at DI, and brought it home to read to my wife.
Even after all these years, the story of Lad, his bravery and self-sacrifice brought tears to my eyes.
Nov 02, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it
My grandparents had a beautiful collie named Honey, and when I discovered this book I was sure I was reading about his relatives. One of the best dog books ever, full of love, affection, and mutual respect between dog and man.
May 06, 2009 Angel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly amazing. Albert Payson takes you everywhere in the book is, every paw step of the way. Step out of this world and into the eventful life of a collie at The Place. Mr. Terhune uses his uncanny ability to paint the world of Lad, the main character, into your mind. Lad is a brave, heroic, thoroughbred collie, both in body and soul. He repeatedly saves many lives including those of the Mistress, a baby, and even several sheep! One of the few dogs who possess an unusual human yet dog-like brai ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a child, in 4th grade. I loved the heroic Collies of Sunnybank.
Dec 14, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Wow! I’d forgotten all about this book. I read this when I was 9 or 10 years old and it was my absolute favorite. Must read it again and see if my 5-star memory of the story stands the test of time.
May 20, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Great stories. Lad is always noble and brave, and conquers the bad guys every time. The language reflects an earlier time, but adds charm to the stories.
Aug 26, 2009 AliceAnn rated it really liked it
I read this as my Classic for the month. I've probably read it a gazillion times already, but I still love it!
Tiyrna Nightschild
Feb 14, 2011 Tiyrna Nightschild rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, re-read
Great dog story, rivals that even of Jack London! Very humorous, makes for one lovable dog!
Mar 28, 2009 Samuel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every one willing to read
Recommended to Samuel by: Jorgina
probably one of my favorite books in the history of the world, simply amazing
Mar 03, 2014 Kristi rated it really liked it
Description: Lad is a collie of Sunnybank's countryside estate in the glory days before World War II. The book follows him through his life as he meets with one challenge after another; burglars, vicious dogs, the wiles of scheming neighbors, and all the stuff of life that puzzles a loyal dog who just wants to live in peace. The outrageous mischievousness of his fellow collie, Lady, Lad meets with a mixture of adoration and hopeless bewilderment; the very real danger of poisonous snakes and ragi ...more
The dog does not die at the end of this book. Lad is a dog who lives on an estate in northern New Jersey during the early 20th century. He is a beautiful thoroughbred collie who has won multiple ribbons at dog shows. He is the watchdog for the estate and is ever the loyal companion of the Master and Mistress. Lad saved a baby from a poisonous snake, found his way home from New York City, rescued his home from being attacked by various harmful people, saved a puppy who had fallen through the ice, ...more
Nov 06, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I will always have a soft spot for dog stories. This proved to be one of those well told and interesting ones, even for this mom. This chronicles his many adventures while living on Sunnybank farm. It is endearing to read of his loyalty to his master and mistress and the various ways he offers his doggy services (saving mistresses life, saving a little girls life, protecting their home from a burglar), as well as an adventure of finding his way home again. I appreciated the way Lad wasn't this g ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Kivrin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reading
One of my favorite books as a child. This was the book that kindled my desire to own a collie (which actually happened many, many years later.) Lad is the hero of the book which is really a collection of stories, based on true life events, about the perfect collie. The language is lovely. Of course, it reflects the age in which it was written (1919) as well as the author's aristocratic upbringing, so it is by no means politically correct--shifty hobos, stupid big city dog show people, idiot neig ...more
Anne Hopkins
May 28, 2014 Anne Hopkins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-partially
Disclaimer: I only read the first story.

In 1919 when Terhune wrote this memoir, no doubt corporal punishment of dogs was a popular training technique. But, those days are long gone -- positive reinforcement and a clear understanding that dogs do not think like humans prevails today. On that basis alone, I would not recommend this book to any reader today, lest they think this stuff is okay.

In the first story "Master" Terhune opined that he had to dominate both resident dogs (one male and one fe
Feb 18, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing
I have had this book on my "to read" list for ages, mostly because, based on the description, I thought my kids would enjoy it. But I absolutely loved it. Terhune made the dog such a real character in the book -- and not an anthropomorphized man-dog -- that I believed every word of it. And I want a dog.
May 07, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first books I fell in love with as a child. I remember reading it multiple times growing up. I love the portrayal of Lad as a dog rather than giving him humanistic qualities with humanistic thoughts. This book has a special place in my heart and always will.
Sep 30, 2010 Gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves dogs, and doesn't mind a bit of gory parts.
Recommended to Gillian by: The book recommended itself.
Lad: A Dog is probably the book I have most read in my lifetime. I've read it like.... well, I can't really rememeber... but I did even watch the movie! WARNING: Please don't watch the movie before the book, because the book is WAY better.
Feb 23, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, ya
I just finished reading this to Anthony and it had been many years since I'd read it over and over again as a kid. I still absolutely love these stories.
Larry Piper
Jun 20, 2014 Larry Piper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
Shelves: gave-up
God, this is awful. I love dogs. I love dog books. Silver Chief, Dog of the North and Big Red were among my favorite books growing up. I didn't even much mind reading James Oliver Curwood's Swift Lightening a year or so ago, although it was a pretty silly book. But this piece of crap is beyond the pale. To begin with, it's hideously racist, both in describing the behavior of people and that of dogs. The protagonist dog, Lad, is allegedly a collie, but his behavior isn't evenly remotely collie-li ...more
May 20, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
Lad: A dog. I just love that title. This book chronicles several of Lad's adventures- his bravery, wit, self-sacrifice, and instinct. But this book is more than a summation of the fun and exciting life of a collie. I fell in love with Lad. He truly lived the life he was meant to live. Yes, he was dog royalty in intelligence and appearance, but his example give me a little push to display a few more heroic characteristics myself. I love books that make me happy to live in this beautiful world, an ...more
When I was a child, I never watched Lassie and her surrogates (always played by male collies, because, as it turns out, female collies shed terribly) on tv. They were on--but I didn't watch them. I found them boring in the same way I've always found sports boring: all this fuss and heavy breathing...and for what? I've seen several clips from the Jimmy Dean show (the sausage guy). In one, Rowlf the Dog dramatizes a
Lassie-type adventure (though, being an urban dog, he does things like shake the w
Jun 04, 2013 Gale rated it really liked it

Terhune's 1919 book (actually a compilation of magazine short stories) remains as poingnant and endearing today as it was during WW1. The collie, Lad, steps forth from the pages in classic dignity--majestic in both breeding, carriage and spirit. Undisputed king over all the Little People (anmial residents) of The Place (in the northern New Jersey hinterlands) Lad rules deservedly proves as the darling of his
Mistress and the pride of his Master for 15 years.
Susan Grodsky
Jan 11, 2014 Susan Grodsky rated it really liked it
Prevented from going to the library, I picked this book off my own bookshelf. I used to love Terhune's paeans to dogs. How did the book hold up?

The short answer is that the book seems dated, elitist, racist, formulaic. Odd that these short stories were originally published in the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines aimed at the adult market. I think they are appropriate for young teens or precocious Tweens.

That said, it's clear that Terhune *loves* his dogs. Further, he realizes that dogs,
Melissa Namba
Aug 31, 2015 Melissa Namba rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely well written book about a dog. The level of diction is much higher than the anticipated target group, but you have to keep in mind that it was written decades ago when students would have been expected to read at this level. I think any child who really loves dogs and who has a natural curiosity about language will enjoy this book, although they will have to work hard at it, probably reading with a dictionary next to them.
Nov 07, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
I think the title should be "Lad : SUPER DOG!", because he was. This was a book my mom really liked as a kid, so I'm glad I read about Lad the super collie and all his heroic adventures. I found it sweet that the author wrote this book after his own dog Lad. I also find it sentimental that my mom had a collie named Shannon when she was young.
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my favorite childhood book 24 46 Jan 20, 2015 09:24AM  
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Albert Payson Terhune (1872 - 1942), a local author of some fame, wrote numerous adventures about Collies, most notably, "Lad, A Dog", "Sunnybank: Home of Lad", and "Further Adventures of Lad". Sunnybank, his home on the eastern shore of Pompton Lakes in northern New Jersey, was originally the home of Terhune's parents, Edward Payson Terhune and Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune. Later as his home with ...more
More about Albert Payson Terhune...

Other Books in the Series

Lad (3 books)
  • Further Adventures of Lad
  • Lad of Sunnybank

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“Any man with money to make the purchase may become a dog's owner. But no man --spend he ever so much coin and food and tact in the effort-- may become a dog's Master without consent of the dog. Do you get the difference? And he whom a dog once unreservedly accepts as Master is forever that dog's God.” 16 likes
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