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

The Good Dog

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,473 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
When the Wild Calls

McKinley, a malamute, is a good dog -- he's reliable and trustworthy. Whether it's watching over the other dogs of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, or taking care of his human pup, Jack, McKinley never even thinks of letting anyone down -- until he meets Lupin. Lupin is a she-wolf and she's urging the dogs of Steamboat Springs to leave their domesticated l
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
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 Good Dog, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Good Dog

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I. Love. This. Book.
I remember reading this book when I was in forth grade, and not being able to put it down. I would stay up and read it my room with a flash light. It was just that good. The story is just terrific! A malamute named McKinley, find himself in between a rock and a hard place. A wolf has come into his town and asks for dogs to join to her pack. When I first read this part I was so excited and nervous to see what would happen. I was at the age when I wanted a wolf for a pet and w
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is book my daughter rented from her school library for me to read as she already read it. It was a very cute book and I loved the symmetry of the dogs helping the female wolf. This book shows you just how smart dogs are.
Vickie Brannon
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written from a dog's perspective, the main dog, a malamute, has to make a decision to join a wolf pack or stay with his humans and neighborhood dogs. I'm looking forward to sharing this one with my students!
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Savannah Riestenberg
I will preface this with my understanding that this book was not directed at a 22 year old reader.

That being said, it was still a somewhat interesting book. The language of course was simplistic, but the storyline was fairly engaging. I found the strange love-like tension between McKinley and Aspen to be a little unnecessary and unimportant to the plot. However, I did really like seeing one author's understanding of how much people language dogs can grasp. Seeing the story through McKinley's eye
Av Monkey
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ...more
Diane Lynch
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read this book a few years ago. And, I read it twice after that: again a few years ago, and now. The dog's perspective was an interesting view, neat to think of what really goes on in our pet's mind.

My younger self loved this book because, partly, it horrified me so much. Even the small amount of violence and action The Good Dog contained was enough to alarm me, and subsequently keep me amused till page 243. The book stuck with me.

My view has changed a little.

What seemed like vivid act
Jun 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Dog is like a modern version of Jack London's Call of the Wild. McKinley the malamute is a family pet and leader of the Steamboat Springs dog pack. When a wolf comes down from the Zirkel Wilderness seeking dogs to replenish her shrinking pack, McKinley must choose between joining her or staying behind with the ones he loves. He must also help an abused greyhound escape from her owner.

There are major differences between Call of the Wild and The Good Dog. Jack London's writing is rich, de
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book during my two years in the USA back in 2004-2006.

This has got to be one of my all time loves, I have read it more than 4 times now and I still can't get enough of it. Sure, it's a bit to easy to read and it doesn't really suite my age at all anymore. Every time I open the book the text seems to get bigger.

Anyhow, this book is amazing. I love the way it's written, the way things are described and how every individual character has a interesting personality which gradually devel
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great, awesome book. It is about a dog named McKinley who has an adventure while making a choice. He has to decide whether to live with wolves or with humans. What I like about this book is: the names the dogs give human items. For example, they call kids "human pups" and they call tvs "light boxes." What I learned from this book is: true friendship is a major key in developing loyalty. By this I mean that if you are in a friendship in which love, play, and protection are big parts, th ...more
Mike Batsolakis
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I thought the book was pretty good. It talks about a dog named Mckinley who is the main character and is faced with the decision to either stay home wth his owners or join a wolf that just came to town that wants to start a pack and live in the wild. McKinley chooses to stay home with his owner because of the loyalty and frienship they had that was unbreakable. I also like how the dogs called kids "human pups" and a TV a "light box". I thought that was pretty funny.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The good dog is about McKinley the dog who is reliable and trustworthy to his human family and is also is the leader of the dogs of Steamboat springs but then everything changes when the wolf lupin comes to get dogs to join her pack that is slowly diminishing because of hunters should he go or

I love this book because this book is a beautiful story about dogs that are as smart as humans.
I learned that you have to have a license to own a dog in some places.
Gwen Bartlett
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good dog story

One of the unique things about this book wAs the story being told from the dogs viewpoint. Most of the time I liked it, but sometimes it seemed forced. It made you think about pets and their lack of freedom. They are protected and cared for, but very limited in what they can do.
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter loved this book and encourages me to read it. :)
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-love-x1f43e
I liked this book. There was not a lot of action, but it had lovable characters: a malamute, a golden retriever, a greyhound, a wolf, and a boy.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Dog

This book is a great read. Throughout the book, tough choices must be made and Mckinley must do what is best for his new friend, as well as all the dogs of Steamboat Springs. The Good Dog is a book about a dog named Mckinley. He is head dog, and he leads the dogs of Steamboat Springs. One day, Mckinley hears talk about a wolf from his human pup, Jack. Many dogs also are talking about how Duchesses, an abused dog ran away again. So, when Jack takes Mckinley out the find Duchesses, Mck
Potomac 5th/6th Grade
I read the Good Dog because I was trying a new book which it was a great book.The author used good descriptive words in the book to tell the story better. The author also put a lot of feelings in the book like who the animal felt in the book and tolled us that the animal felt different. The author put in a lot of characters in the book so he could use them a lot in the book.
Here is a little summary of the best parts: (view spoiler)
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently I bought a second copy of this book just to have, it is so underappreciated and slips through the cracks on the foundations that many good kids books do: It's one of those books sold at a book fair and not much of anyplace else. I intend to send the second book to a friend in Ohio eventually if I ever have the time to, along with a few other books that I feel have that charm that's hard to pin down.

The Good Dog is short, simple, but it gives that enjoyable view through a dog's eyes. How
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Daisy, Age 9

The Good Dog, by Avi, tells of an emotional journey for her main character, McKinley. This journey gives the reader joy, anger, fear, and love. In his journey, McKinley is brave, helpful, and kind, and he helps the wolf, Lupin. I loved this book, and you should read it, too.
This book really brings joy to me, and I hope it does to you, too. But, just a warning: I found very little imagery in this book, so if you want imagery then don't read it. Still, this amazing book
Marilyn Smith
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing its about a dog named McKinley that is the lead dog in his neighborhood and his owners let him outside a lot. One day he finds a wolf named Lupin that is looking for dogs to join her pack and then one day hunters hurt her so McKinley and his friend Aspen have to try to save her from the hunters.Another thing he has to do is save one of his other friends Duchess from her owner that keeps her on a chain all day and only has a small dog house for her to sleep in. McKinley also ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book was very inspiring and passionate. There was love, companionship, and a little bit of figuring out the identity of McKinley, the main character. The aspect of love is how much he likes to take care of the family that owns him. The companionship was with the little boy, Jack, and how much they are a like. The figuring out of McKinley's identity is when he learns some of his pack members might run off with a wolf.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really quick read for me personally (about 5 hours), but still an incredible book. Aspen reminds me so much of my Jenna that I can't help but wonder how much my two dogs know, and my cat for that matter! The characters are so real and it seems like the author really did their homework on dog body language to me.
Jeanine Woods
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hi this was a aaaaammmmmmmaaaaaaazzzziiiinnnngggg book! first of all McKinley was very brave & bold. (this was one of my favorite books) bye!
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avi is such a good writer. Read this on the plane from CO to MA. Written from a unique perspective. Some great life lessons and, if you are a dog lover, it is all the better. If only we could understand dogs and they understand us more than they already do.
Jenna Skoglund
I'm not really into books with animals as the main characters... but it was written okay.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a very good story told from the dog's perspective. I really enjoyed it.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This used to be my all time favorite as a child. I had to have read this book 10 times!
Emily Traasdahl
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dogs are awesome
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Not my favorite book by Avi but fascinating to think about what goes on inside a dog's mind.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Did you like this? 7 20 Jun 30, 2014 11:31PM  
  • Runt
  • The Boy Who Spoke Dog
  • Charlie's Raven
  • Thunder from the Sea
  • No Dogs Allowed!
  • The Mob
  • Everything for a Dog
  • Listen!
  • Angus and Sadie (Davis Farm, #1)
  • Child of the Wolves
  • Santa Paws (Santa Paws, #1)
  • Swordbird (Swordbird, #1)
  • Raven Quest
  • The Summer of Riley
  • Sheepdog in the Snow (Animal Ark: Holiday Special, #1)
  • Kokopelli's Flute
  • Marley: A Dog Like No Other: A Special Adaptation for Young Readers
  • A Dog's Way Home
Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Take Me with You
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Her Sister's Shoes (Sweeney Sisters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rock Harbor Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor #1-5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Thousand Tomorrows (Cody Gunner, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Shoeless Joe
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Death in Venice
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Blonde
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ever After (Lost Love, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Rescue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Lords of Discipline
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Sheltering Sky
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Gena/Finn
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Charles Martin Collection: When Crickets Cry, Chasing Fireflies, and Wrapped in Rain
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Remember Tuesday Morning (9/11, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Under the Udala Trees
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Streets Have No King
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Passion
    $11.00 $1.99
  • This Dark Road to Mercy
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Language of Hoofbeats
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Not Perfect: A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Seekers (Kent Family Chronicles, #3)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Don Quixote
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Essex Serpent
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Storycatcher
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Domestic Violets
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Devil Wears Prada
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Half a Heart
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel
    $9.24 $1.99
  • A Garden of Earthly Delights (Wonderland Quartet, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Golden Notebook
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Life of Christ
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Good Mother
    $5.74 $1.99
  • The Palest Ink (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Prequel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Go: A Coming of Age Novel
    $4.99 $1.99
  • As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Just a Drop of Water
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Child in Time
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Lowcountry Stranger (Sweeney Sisters Series Book 2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Man in 3B
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Enemy Women
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Save Me
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time Bomb
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Heat and Light: A Novel
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Reunion
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
    $16.99 $1.99
  • Stay Up With Me
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Loser
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Map and the Territory
    $8.99 $2.99
  • You Know Me Well
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Father's Day
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Skeletons at the Feast
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Even Now (Lost Love, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Moonlight Palace
    $3.99 $0.99
  • This Bright Beauty
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Intervention (An Intervention Novel)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Nanreath Hall
    $11.74 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »