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Dog in Charge

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  151 reviews
When the going gets tough, Dog . . . takes a nap

Dog can Sit.
He can Stay.
He can even Dance.
But when he's in charge, can he keep the cats in line?
All one, two, three, four, five of them?

Illustrated by Caldecott winner, Dan Santat, and packed full of slapstick silliness and utterly earnest charm, Dog will quickly wiggle his way into preschoolers' hearts.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published 2012 by The Penguin Group (first published April 2011)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  981 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Nancy Kotkin
Dog is a good dog, and enjoys many delicious treats as a result. But when his owner leaves the house with Dog in charge, can he keep the five cats in line? Well, cats will be cats. But in the end, the five cats do so love Dog. A sweet and funny book about dog and cat dynamics, with a more serious underlying message: "It's hard to be in charge!" Especially when your delicious treats are in jeopardy. The playful illustrations add additional humor.
Heather McC
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Dog and his fellow cats have a sweet relationship in this counting tale.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Dog has been such a good boy that his humans leave him in charge of the cats when they go out to run errands. Of course, as soon as they leave, the cats find all sort of mischief to get into. They practically wreck the house and nothing that Dog says can stop them. But when he gets so tired from chasing after them and falls asleep, they decide that they love him and don't want him to get into trouble. So they clean up the house so that when the humans return, they praise Dog for doing a good job ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Requested because I loved Santat's The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. This reminds me too much of Cat in the Hat, and I just don't quite care for it. Cute rhythm of text, cute when the dog dances. I'm sure most ppl will like it more than I. ...more
Rod Brown
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe really 2.5 stars. Not the greatest story, but I liked the pictures, the counting and the onomatopoeia. As cats are inherently evil, I did not really buy their role in the finale.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This story shows what happens when Mom leaves the house and the dog is in charge of taking care of his five feline family members.

Chaos and hilarity follow - this is a fun, fast read.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Dog is loved by his owner who has him sit, stay and even dance. When the family leaves for the day they leave dog in charge of the house and his 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 feline companions. Will he be able to keep these cats in line?

This book is, for all intents and purposes, about love. A dog is loved by his owner and tries to love the cats he's left in charge of the same way. When that doesn't work for the cats dog gets into trouble himself.
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dog loves the praise his family showers on him whenever he does something good. He also loves the dog treats they give him as a reward. But when the family leaves him in charge while they go to the store, things go awry. He can't find the five cats, and he's supposed to keep them in line. As he hunts them down, he causes quite a mess. He even ends up gobbling up their cat treats. While he sleeps, the cats come to his rescue and clean up everything. Pet lovers will adore this story since both the ...more
Jeremey Olson
This book is about a Dog who is very loved by his owner. He is always making sure that he is being the best dog that his owner could ask for. Then one day is family leaves him in charge of the house while he is gone. The dog shares the house with 5 cats. While the family is away the dog asks the cats to stop causing trouble and they don't listen to the dog. After trying so hard to get the cats the dog gives up and wonders if he is being a good dog. The cat decide that the dog is good and helps h ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This endearing dog is very good at following commands, and very hopeful that he can watch the cats and keep them out of mischief while his family are out at the shops. Poor hopeful dog. It's hopeless, really. Who can control five mischevious cats?! He ends up all tuckered out and fast asleep and the house is in a mess! But happily the cats love him, and while he's napping they tidy up the lot.

Lovely story, fabulous illustrations. The grandchildren and I have thoroughly enjoyed this delightful pi
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book about a tutu-wearing dog and his five feline housemates is cute. The illustrations make it even cuter. It is lively but sparse story about what happens when the humans leave dog in charge while they are away. He tries to herd the cats, but as you know....herding cats is never easy. So he must wait for them to make up their minds to help.

Charming, funny book I recommend for 3-6 year olds.
Edward Sullivan
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Dog has his paws full trying to keep up with five naughty cats.
Danica Midlil
I loved the cartoonish illustrations.
Poor dog, he's so out-matched.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
When the humans are away, will the cats obey Dog? Psssh! Hilarious, comics-esque storytelling. Great for pet lovers.
Jared White
I've read through this 3 times over the past couple of weeks and I've liked it more with each reading. I love the dog and cats' relationship and love that the cats sure don't seem to love dog until the dog goes to sleep and thus doesn't realize that they love him. I feel like ambivalence often exemplifies cats' relationships with dogs and sometimes with people as well.

A very fun story with expressive illustrations.
Cara Byrne
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
My preschooler loved this book, and I appreciated Going's chaotic-turned-sweet story and Santat's wonderfully vivid and action-packed illustrations. Visually, it was difficult to follow the story at times. This book would have benefitted from a single scene per spread instead of spreads being divided in 4 scenes. ...more
Linkin V
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My son loves animals, so this was a great story for a 5-year old. The illustrations are wonderful. Wr searched for the cats and used the story to help with counting. I highly recommend the story for pre-K and early kindergarten.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars

This was a stupid book. The "moral" was that things seem to fix themselves after you try to fix something and it goes wrong. The illustrations weren't that nice anyways, and I don't really understand why this was written.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Goodness, I love this book. Dog is good, smart, and the very best. While his owners take a trip to the store, they place dog in charge of the 1,2,3,4,5 cats. Dog tries to keep everything in order, but soon it is all a mess! Luckily, the cats love dog as much as he loves them.
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Dog is a good dog, smart dog, the very best dog. But when he's left at home to mind the (five!) cats, things don't go well. Will his people still love him when the cats have been so naughty? Great concept, wonderfully written, and fantastic art. ...more
Jillian Anderson
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My students loved this book. They loved looking for the cats in the illustrations and were so curious as to what mischief the cats would get into next. Great to pair with other dog books or to discuss following the rules and cleaning up after making a mess.
Miss Ryoko
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This is getting a 3 star review from me only because Dan Santat's work gives me life :-p The story of this book is meh. But the illustrations were fun ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tessa
Cute how opposites attract and those you think don't love and adore you actually do and will do anything for you. ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Loaded with humor, frustration and warmth, this will appeal to ailurophiles and cynophilists alike. :)
Goshen PL Childrens
Read at Storytime on June 27th
Theme: Miss Tina's favorites
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute book that shows dogs and cats CAN live together in harmony. Sort of. Not quite right for storytime. Recommended ages 4-7.
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
What could possibly go wrong leaving a dog in charge of five cats? A humourous look at training and friendship.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO SILLY. Dog thinks he's in charge. Dog is a very good dog. The best dog. ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fall-2019
Go dog, go!
Humorous look as to what happens when human family is away, leaving a bulldog in charge of cats. Friendship between cats and dogs.
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K.L. Going is the award winning author of numerous books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was named a Michael Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, and was included on YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults list and their list of Best Books for the Past Decade. Her books have been Booksense picks, Scholastic Book Club choices, Junior Library Guild sele ...more

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