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Lad: A Dog (Lad #1)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  5,794 ratings  ·  105 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
34th out of 625 books — 1,234 voters
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Favorite books from my childhood
331st out of 3,084 books — 5,858 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Pam
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!
Kelly Boyce
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.
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
...more
Angel
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
Susan Grodsky
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,
...more
Valerie
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
...more
Coralie
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
Kristine
Collies!!

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
...more
Kristi
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
Anne Hopkins
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
...more
Tracy
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.
James
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.
Gillian
Sep 30, 2010 Gillian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Eugenia
I fell in love with Lad a long time ago. It's an old book, written in perhaps an old-fashioned way, but the author obviously loves his animal characters and I felt like Lad was my dog too. Which was very important to a small lonely girl.
Megan
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.
Laura
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.
Nancy
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 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Kivrin
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
AliceAnn
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
Great dog story, rivals that even of Jack London! Very humorous, makes for one lovable dog!
Samuel
Mar 28, 2009 Samuel rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Gale
A THOROUGHBRED IN HEART AND HERITAGE

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.
...more
Stephanie
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.
Rose
Mar 11, 2014 Rose rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
No matter what, I think NO ONE should read this, no matter who you are, or where you're from. The outrageous violence in almost every chapter made me want to burn this horrifying book. This book makes it sound OK for a man to whip his own dog. I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but DO NOT read this!
Irl Newham
I read this at least sixty years ago but fell in love with this author and his collie stories. It's hard to rate something I read so long ago but these books are one of the reasons I am an avid reader today.
Jennifer
Hoo boy. There are books that I loved as a child that I still think are excellent today, and then there's Lad: A Dog. Who knew there could be so many loaded assumptions about race, class and gender in a book about a dog?

I still love the illustrations by Sam Savitt, though.
Lisa Houlihan
I remember this from the shelves of Phoebe (on the left side of the bay closer to the desk). I didn't read it as a child because I knew that in dog books, the dog usually dies. I read it now because Nicholas Kristoff included it in his list of the best children's books ever. Well, that's his opinion.

The dog dies, and the only thing surprising is that such a godlike creature could be mortal. Swimming a mile-wide river in a muzzle? Reaching the pinnacle of collie-hood without doing anything colli
...more
Becky Speraw
This was my favorite book when I was young. I read all Albert Payson Terhune's books, but this was the best!
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my favorite childhood book 23 43 Feb 22, 2014 08:22AM  
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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...
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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.” 10 likes
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