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Guinea Dog

(Guinea Dog #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,621 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Rufus has been dreaming of getting a dog. His best friend has one. His worst friend has one. But his dad has a few objections: They whine. They gnaw. They bark. They scratch. They beg. They drool.

Rufus pays no attention when his mom offers her think-outside-the-box suggestion, because she can't be serious. She can't be.

She can be. And she actually comes home with a guine
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by EgmontUSA (first published April 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  1,621 ratings  ·  261 reviews

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Judy Desetti
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this title. It will make a good read read aloud. I was excited to see that this is the same author that wrote We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes which was a hilarious title! Guinea Dog is about the theme of a child wanting a dog as a pet and the parent saying NO. I personally have been there and understand the intense desire to get a dog to love and play with. Like Rufus, my dad said absolutely not! This was a wonderful fantasy about what happens if the boy gets a guinea pig that does exactl ...more
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Right over here! Look this way! Over here! TWEET! You looking? Yeah, so right over we've got ourselves a Patrick Jennings fan. Yup. Patrick Jennings. The guy who wrote that fantastic We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes, along with approximately a hundred other books. You've read him, right? No? Well that's fine with me. It's like when you discover this cool underground band, and you get to be their biggest fan all by yourself. It's great. You walk around with this knowledge in your head of, "I am into ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it liked it
i expected a story about a boy and his "dog". it was less about that and more about ... differences? i guess so. there was that lesson of you have to look on the inside instead of judging things by the outside, so that was good. i think there wasn't enough story about the title and main topic of the book. it is possible that there wouldn't be much of a story if they stuck to that though. what i did not like was the lack of respect often through the book. i understand kids being hard on their par ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this because it is up for the Colorado Children's Book Award, CCBA, and I wanted to be able to recommend it or not to my library students. I think children will enjoy it, although it isn't my favorite children's book. I would recommend many others before this. However, it does tell a humorous tale of a boy and his pet guinea pig. Jennings does a nice job of making a guinea pig acting like a dog somewhat believable, and creates fun instances between the boy and his pet. It gets a little "p ...more
Elizabeth Bergin
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fifth-grader Rufus desperately wants a dog, but his dad has a mile long lists of reasons why his family will never get one. That doesn't stop Rufus from asking and hoping, though. Then one day, his mom brings a pet home for him--a guinea pig! Rufus is disappointed and embarrassed, and hopes that it will annoy his dad enough for him to take Fido back to the pet store. What will happen when the pet store seems to have disappeared and Fido starts acting like a dog? This book is fun and funny. Many ...more
Kim Patton
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-boys
Delightful book about a boy named Rufus who wants a dog desperately. When his mom buys him a guinea pig instead, he is deeply disappointed and wants to return the animal. Fido, the guinea pig, starts acting so much like a dog, though, Rufus gives him a chance. Envy of a friend--from his dog to his normal house & normal family--is a theme that many kids will relate to.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rufus, who really, really wants a dog, is given a guinea pig instead.

This is an adorable book. Rufus is a realistic kid with realistic problems but also a kid I would have hung out with (assuming he got over his fear of being seen with a girl). Fido, the rotund guinea pig with a white mohawk, thinks she's a dog. She chases frisbees, buries rawhides, and 'barks'. I'm a guinea pig fan so this book played right into some sweet spots. There's a moral to the story but it doesn't beat you over the hea
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this on a road trip with the whole family and we all really enjoyed it! Many laugh out loud moments and teaches good lessons. We thought it was especially funny because the dad and son in the story act a lot like the dad and son in our family. 😄 My nine year old daughter is already asking about the next book in the series.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
My kids LOVED it. Definitely entertaining.
Barb Middleton
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yay! I have a new series I can recommend to my guinea pig crazed students. Seems like a teacher always has one as a pet in the classroom and those "Humphrey" readers will like this Patrick Jennings book. While it is not from the point of view of the guinea pig, it has a hilarious narrator named, Rufus, who is in 5th grade. With a name like Rufus it is only reasonable that this protagonist desperately wants a dog. The problem is his dad's obsession for order and quiet along with his new job of wo ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Patrick Jenning's Guinea Dog more than I thought I would. I normally wouldn't have read this since it looked like a fluff read about a flurry fur ball. But it's more than that. It's perfect for kids 7 and up because the character goes through things lots of kids that age (range) go through. Jennings perfectly captured the thoughts running through a kid's head. It's funny and somehow deep at the same time as the main character tries to figure out who he is in terms of his family, ...more
Zachary K
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rufus, a boy in 5th grade wants to get a dog because he loves dogs. His dad does not like dogs at all so Rufus's mom gets him a guinea pig at Petopia. No one knows that the guinea pig named Fido acts like a dog except Rufus. Will Rufus keep Fido or keep begging to his dad that he wants a dog. My favorite part is when Rufus taught Fido to take out and put in CDs to the CD player and bring them back. I recommend this book to people who like action and people who like dogs. ...more
Lindsay Roney
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ssyra
This book, although a cute concept, was just ok in my opinion. I felt it was missing some humor and a lot of conflict. Where was the rising action, the conflict resolution and the falling action? It lacked any excitement. On the positive side, I liked the way Jennings wrote his young boy characters. They thought and acted much like my own fifth grade students.
Sara Truog
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile
Boy who really wants a dog receives a guinea pig that acts like a dog instead. Sounds amusing, but I didn't love it. None of the characters felt authentic to me, particularly Dimitri and Lurena. Also, the author writes the way kids talk, so there's some incorrect grammar. An ok book, but I'm going to pass on it for my library book club at this time. ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, humor, animals
Extremely funny kids chapter book - enjoyable for both kids and adults.

"'Copy that' was my new favorite way of saying 'okay,' replacing, 'Gotcha, chief,' which Dad recently made me stop saying."

'How'd your hamster die?' I asked.
'Natural causes.'
'Like lightning or something?'"
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really like how, at the beginning, when Fido acts like a dog, the main character hates it, showing that he really was just playing up a dog in his mind. BOTB
Rori simmons
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome it took me three years to even get me to read that book
Nathan C.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was ok

Have you ever judged a book by its cover? In the story “Guinea Dog” by Patrick Jennings is about when a boy named Rufus wants a doggie. The father of Rufus stays at home but also works from home,declined getting a dog. He says “they are filthy and smelly Rufus” and he has a huge list of reasons why Rufus can't have a dog. The mother of Rufus feels bad for Rufus since he has always wanted a dog and surprises him one day with a guinea pig instead though. The guinea pig, who Rufus names Fido, surp
T Crockett
I wanted to like this book. In the beginning the narrator's observations are pretty funny and it has the usual kid's perspective that adults are nuts.

As the book goes on, it shows some truly unacceptable behavior as normal. The main character repeatedly puts his guinea pig in his backpack (just a normal one, no modifications to allow fresh air in) for hours without food or water. He admits the animal pees and poops in the bag but never washes it and never thinks, gee, it might not be good for a
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was forced to read this for children's lit. Two thumbs down. The writing was annoying, the vocabulary more so, the characterization unbelievable (the boy's parents are completely neurotic), and the plot dragged. I disliked the unexplained dog-like behavior of the guinea pig. The vocabulary never went above "dumb" and "dork," and the general tone and quality of the writing had me rolling my eyes (especially the terribly obvious first-person description bit). Why in the world are there MORE of t ...more
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
5 stars from Miss 5. She loves the Guinea Dog series so much that she listened to all three books sequentially by audiobook and was fascinated by them. She loves the idea of a guinea pig that thinks she's a dog and would pause the books so she could excitedly talk about them with me. The books also inspired her to switch from bunnies to guinea pigs on our petting farm visits so she can be a guinea pig mummy with a lapful of guinea pigs.

Miss 6 and I like to explore different books and authors at
Tempe Public Library
Rufus wants a dog more than anything. But his Dad, who just started telecommuting from home for his job, thinks dogs are smelly, annoying, and need to be walked all the time, and he refuses to let Rufus get a dog. Rufus' Mom makes a bold compromising move and brings home a pet Guinea Pig for Rufus, since they don't have to be walked and can bathe themselves. But there is no way Rufus will settle for a pet Guinea Pig, even if she does like to play fetch with Rufus. It's just not the same, even if ...more
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Funny, cute, effects of peer pressure on feelings, first person narrative. Lesson about not judging a book by its cover that applies not only to the pet, but also to some of his friends.
Rufus has always wanted a dog but his father doesn't want one in the house. As a compromise, his mother brings home a guinea pig. Rufus names her "Fido." As he starts to get to know Fido, he realizes that she is not a normal guinea pig - she often acts just like a dog.
Rufus is initially embarrassed and doesn't wa
Rufus wants a dog. His dad does not. His mom decides to forge a compromise by bringing home a guinea pig. This works in the sense that both Rufus and his father think this is a terrible idea. Rufus tries to make the best of it by naming his rodent Fido, and soon finds she has enough canine traits to be almost tolerable: she barks, fetches, and chews shoes just like a real dog. As he continues to grapple with this ridiculous situation, he learns a lesson or two about expectations and external app ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading level: 3rd to 5th grade
Everybody Rufus knows has a dog and he really wants one. His dad has as long list why they should not get one. When his mom finds a "solution", it turns out to be a guinea pig. The "solution" really turns out to be one. The guinea pig, Fido, acts like a dog and does what all dogs do, only sometimes...better. Rufus tries to pretend he does not own the guinea pig, but as soon as everybody knows, everybody wants one.
Marathon County Public Library
Rufus really wants to get a dog but his father won't even consider it. Then his mom brings home a guinea pig. She runs, fetches, sits and even plays Frisbee! Rufus and Fido have a number of funny adventures. 

We have guinea pigs and I wish they were trained like Fido! This book is a great read-together bedtime story for kids and their parents. There is also a book two and three that are equally cute.

Robin W. / Marathon County Public Library
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This book seems to have had a good impact on my daughter. We cannot have a dog right now for various reasons, and she is a big animal lover. Seeing another kid learn how to be happy with a different kind of pet than he had in mind seems to have had a positive impact on her. That is not why we picked it, but that's a bonus! The book was fun to listen to. The boy wasn't always on his best behavior, but as my 7 year old doesn't seem to have picked up any negative messages from the book, I'd say it' ...more
I listened to this book on January 24, 2021. It was an enjoyable read. I liked Rufus and I was very intrigued by his Guinea Pig that thought she was a Dog. I found the name he gave her to be rather funny - Fido - although I never laughed.

I've already checked out the audio editions of the next two books in this Guinea Dog series. I'll probably listen to them in February, although I might listen in January if I have time.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got so tickled at the long, long list of reasons why Rufus couldn't have a dog -- which starts on page two -- that I couldn't stop laughing. Great characterization and voice. Wonderfully creative idea. I just adore this book. I wonder why my now-teen daughter never chose to pick it up and read it when I bought it for her as part of a Scholastic book sale package deal? ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
My kids loved this book because we have guinea pigs and they loved the idea of a guinea pig who can do tricks like a dog. A boy named Rufus is given a guinea pig by his Mom, when he really wants a dog, and the guinea pig acts like and has all the tricks of a dog without any training. A little bit of magic in this charming middle grade book. We have been listening to all of the audio books.
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Guinea Dog (3 books)
  • Guinea Dog 2 (Guinea Dog, #2)
  • Guinea Dog 3 (Guinea Dog, #3)

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