100 books like Stepdog

By Mireya Navarro,

Here are 100 books that Stepdog fans have personally recommended if you like Stepdog. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Incredible Journey

Jennifer Marshall Bleakley Author Of Pawverbs For Kids

From my list on a pawsitive impact years after reading them.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a painfully shy child, I found friendship, adventure, and ultimately my own voice reading about—and spending time with—animals. Animals felt safer to talk to than people. They didn’t judge, didn’t expect anything from me, and I never had to worry about what to say. They gave me the gift of their presence and time to practice communication—gifts that ultimately led me to obtain a master’s degree in counseling and work as a children’s grief counselor. I’m happy to report that I overcame my extreme shyness. But there's no denying the role that animals have played in my life. By sharing this list I hope to help other kids find that same comfort and inspiration.

Jennifer's book list on a pawsitive impact years after reading them

Jennifer Marshall Bleakley Why did Jennifer love this book?

The Incredible Journey is the first book I remember staying up past bedtime—with my Strawberry Shortcake flashlight—to read.

It is a timeless story of adventure that highlights the bond between three animals as they struggle to find their way home. A Siamese cat, an old dog, and an energetic retriever have to work together to overcome obstacles and survive dire and dangerous situations.

The Incredible Journey is a wonderful book to help children develop an appreciation for animals, sweep them into an adventure, and help them understand themselves a little better along the way.

By Sheila Burnford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Incredible Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Fans of Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Shiloh will love this timeless classic about two dogs and a cat that embark on a journey to return to their owner and inspired the movie Homeward Bound.
 
   An inquisitive Labrador retriever, friendly bull terrier, and courageous Siamese cat set out through the Canadian wilderness to find their owner in this truly “incredible” adventure.
    Instinct tells them that the way home lies to the west and together the three house pets face hunger, the natural elements, and wild forest animals as they make their way home to the family they…


Book cover of The Call of the Wild

Ken Wells Author Of Swamped!

From my list on coming of age survival and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, all I wanted to read were books about adventure. I also had an adventurous childhood, growing up in the Louisiana swamps with a father who actually hunted alligators and took me with him. As I came of age, I longed to tell stories, and, as they say, it’s best to write about what you know. To date, I’ve penned six novels, all set in the exotic wetlands of Cajun, Louisiana. I feel missionary about this—that my writing gifts allow me to decode my homeplace in a way that makes it easier for outsiders to see the singular niche it occupies on the American landscape. 

Ken's book list on coming of age survival and adventure

Ken Wells Why did Ken love this book?

I love this book for its fabulous sense of place, nonstop action, and realistic depiction of the rough-and-tumble Yukon during the 1890s Gold Rush.

The protagonist may be a dog but Buck, the good-heard Saint Bernard we meet as affable and innocent puppy, is I truly believe one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of adventure novels. His transition to a feral state is utterly believable as the book unfolds the darkness that lies at the heart of all too many men and the often violent chain of events that causes Buck to seek a new life.

I have read this book three times, and each time, it continues to amaze me. 

By Jack London,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Call of the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Puffin Classics bring together the best-loved stories to a new generation.

In The Call of the Wild life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survivial. Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his realm once again?

Jack London (1876-1916) was…


Book cover of The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me

Michael Konik Author Of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

From my list on inspiring dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Konik is the author of 13 books of fiction, poetry, and journalism, including Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventure, an LA Times best-seller and the inspiration for the Animal Planet series Ella & Me. Surrounded by dogs since toddler age, Konik is currently the owner of Benji, a Golden Doodle, and Billie, a magnificent mutt.

Michael's book list on inspiring dogs

Michael Konik Why did Michael love this book?

Enlightening and touching, whimsical and wise, this story of one man's transition to country living is populated by a menagerie of farm animals and a challenging border collie named Orson. It's said that there are no bad dogs, only bad dog trainers. This books reminds us that the dogs who share our lives serve as mirrors, reflecting our best and worst qualities, gently teaching us we can be better humans if we're willing to be more like dogs.

By Jon Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dogs of Bedlam Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Dogs are blameless, devoid of calculation, neither blessed nor cursed with human motives. They can’t really be held responsible for what they do. But we can.”
–from The Dogs of Bedlam Farm

When Jon Katz adopted a border collie named Orson, his whole world changed. Gone were the two yellow Labs he wrote about in A Dog Year, as was the mountaintop cabin they loved. Katz moved into an old farmhouse on forty-two acres of pasture and woods with a menagerie: a ram named Nesbitt, fifteen ewes, a lonely donkey named Carol, a baby donkey named Fanny, and three border…


Book cover of Dog Years: A Memoir

Michael Konik Author Of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures

From my list on inspiring dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Konik is the author of 13 books of fiction, poetry, and journalism, including Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventure, an LA Times best-seller and the inspiration for the Animal Planet series Ella & Me. Surrounded by dogs since toddler age, Konik is currently the owner of Benji, a Golden Doodle, and Billie, a magnificent mutt.

Michael's book list on inspiring dogs

Michael Konik Why did Michael love this book?

No matter how dark and hopeless we sometimes feel, dogs are always there to lick away our tears. This poignant memoir highlights the salutary power in a dog's unconditional love, offering heartfelt insights into why dogs, of all the animals, have so much to teach, and so much to give, even when all seems lost.

By Mark Doty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dog Years as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives?

When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care, to join Arden, the black retriever. As Beau bounds back to life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days - their tenacity, loyalty and love inspiring him when all else fails.


Book cover of The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love

Rona Maynard Author Of Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World

From my list on the power of loving a dog.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my life no one guessed I could fall for a dog, much less write a book about one. I associated dogs with drool on the floor and fur all over everything. One of those “just a dog” people, I thought the marriage bed should be strictly for humans. It crossed my mind that an eager dog would keep me from working into the night at the office where I ran Chatelaine, Canada’s premier magazine for women, but I chose a treadmill at the Y over rambles with a dog. At 65 I discovered my inner dog person. A ragged-eared mutt is now my joy and my muse.

Rona's book list on the power of loving a dog

Rona Maynard Why did Rona love this book?

TV’s Lassie saved children from wildfire and quicksand. Real-life service dogs save entire families from the isolation and stress of a child’s incurable illness or severe disability.

Through the vivid stories of compromised kids who blossom with highly trained dogs, Greene celebrates the canine gift for understanding us humans—rooted in 10,000 years of interspecies history but ignored by science until the recent past.

This book gripped, moved, and informed me while hitting close to home. Like my own rescue mutt, many service dogs were trained by prisoners who discovered their own best selves by teaching an unwanted animal to love. Humans and dogs need each other, as Greene shows with heartfelt but rigorous reporting. 

By Melissa Fay Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Underdogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE UNDERDOGS tells the story of Karen Shirk: felled at age 24 by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as an immobile, deeply isolated and depressed, ventilator-dependent patient, she was rejected by every service dog agency in the country as "too disabled." Her nurse encouraged her to raise her own service dog, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. "How many people are stranded like I was," she wondered, "who could lead productive lives with a service dog?" A thousand dogs later, Karen Shirk's service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their…


Book cover of Through a Dog's Eyes: Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World

Deborah Taylor-French Author Of Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries

From my list on dogs and canine behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I’m not out rescuing lost dogs or walking our dog, Beau, in the hills of Sonoma County, I’m reading, writing, blogging, or offering writers' support. Our family started when we took in a baby for foster care, then a year later, after great effort, prayer, and help, we completed her adoption. As for canines, we’ve adopted four dogs, all from dogs returned to their breeders or an animal shelter. Three of our dogs happened to be only one year old when we took them in. I continue to research and edit my Dog Leader Mysteries blog. Twelve years blogging about saving dogs.

Deborah's book list on dogs and canine behavior

Deborah Taylor-French Why did Deborah love this book?

I can’t say enough about Through a Dog’s Eyes. Read it to save your puppy from harsh training methods. Read it before you choose a training method to prepare for raising a puppy/dog.

Arnold offers a giant step forward in the humane treatment of dogs as feeling and thinking beings. Jennifer Arnold once thought methods of dominance and negative correction were necessary, but through her Canine Assistance program (a service dog organization), Arnold learned that kindness and encouragement proved the best way to train dogs.

For twenty years, Arnold adopted, raised, and taught dogs for people with special needs. Dogs showed her how to “teach” dogs to make choices, not to simply “train” to follow commands. Her dogs performed amazing feats of thinking and taking lifesaving actions.

By Jennifer Arnold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through a Dog's Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A “transformative,”* inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs.
 
Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Through her unique understanding of dogs’ intelligence, sensitivity, and extrasensory skills, Arnold has developed an exemplary training method that is based on kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary.

To Jennifer Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor…


Book cover of For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend

Nate Schoemer Author Of Nate Schoemer's Dog Training Manual: Animal Planet's Dog Trainer Shares His Dog Training Secrets

From my list on dog understanding and communication.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved canines and always wanted to make sure they were treated kindly. When I was a kid, I would bring a bag of dog treats with me to visit family and friends that I knew had dogs; I had to be very convincing too, or else people would’ve thought they were for me! But they could see it was a delight for me; while everyone would be inside talking, I would be outside with the pups. Eventually, this enthusiasm culminated with the creation of Nate Schoemer’s Dog Training Program, with a mission of improving the lives of dogs and their owners through education. 

Nate's book list on dog understanding and communication

Nate Schoemer Why did Nate love this book?

This book is hands down one of those essential readings that every dog owner should own…it should be read, re-read, and then re-re-read.

Patricia beautifully describes our dog’s emotions, body language, and even the more subtle expressions that most people miss… it’s like training to be a doggy empath.

I found myself smiling and learning something new and valuable in every chapter, even after being a professional dog trainer for over ten years. 

We love our dogs, and they depend on us to care for them and understand them. This book is not only a page-turner, but it will enhance the relationship that you have with your furry-faced friend. 

By Patricia McConnell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked For the Love of a Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we vary. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

In For the Love of a Dog, McConnell suggests that one of the reasons we love dogs so much is that they express emotions in ways…


Book cover of Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet

Michelle Waitzman Author Of Be as Happy as Your Dog: 16 Dog-Tested Ways to Be Happier Using Pawsitive Psychology

From my list on understanding what your dog is thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lifelong dog lover and the author of four nonfiction books. I currently live with two rescue dogs, Marlowe and Nuka (the unofficial co-authors of my book). I decided to write a self-help book after noticing two trends during the recent pandemic: people were struggling to feel happy and optimistic, and people were adding a dog to their household, many for the first time. We all marvel at how our dogs find it so easy to enjoy life, and I was determined to find out what we could learn from them! During my research, I learned so much about how dogs think and feel, and I love sharing this information with other dog lovers.

Michelle's book list on understanding what your dog is thinking

Michelle Waitzman Why did Michelle love this book?

Dr. John Bradshaw is a (now retired) anthrozoologist. That means he spent his career studying animal-human interaction.

His bestselling book about dogs is a great overview of how dogs function. He delves into the ways in which dogs are like wolves, and the ways they are different. He talks about the unique ability of dogs to form strong bonds with both other dogs and humans—to essentially have two “packs” under the right circumstances.

I found his insights very helpful and his writing style easy to follow and engaging.

By John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dog Sense as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dogs have been mankind's faithful companions for tens of thousands of years, yet today they are regularly treated as either pack-following wolves or furry humans. The truth is, dogs are neither- and our misunderstanding has put them in serious crisis. What dogs really need is a spokesperson, someone who will assert their specific needs. Renowned anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw has made a career of studying human-animal interactions, and in Dog Sense he uses the latest scientific research to show how humans can live in harmony with- not just dominion over- their four-legged friends. From explaining why positive reinforcement is a…


Book cover of This Is a Dog

Alexandra Thompson Author Of A Family for Louie

From my list on joyful picture books about dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a little kid, I wanted nothing more than to be best friends with every dog I met. Our family dog was a Yorkie and she was my little buddy for 17 years. A Family for Louie came about because of my love of dogs, food, and family. Naturally, my first picture book would be about all of these things! Dogs are such wonderful creatures, brimming with love, loyalty, and so much personality. I hope this round-up of books featuring our furry four-legged friends brings a little joy and laughter to your storytime. 

Alexandra's book list on joyful picture books about dogs

Alexandra Thompson Why did Alexandra love this book?

This hilarious and charming book features a dog that just wants to be the star of the show. With sparse text and humorous illustrations, this book is perfect for littles learning about their animals. I love the bright colors and expressive faces on all of the animals, especially the mischievous main character. You’ll have to read to find out what the dog does to get rid of the rest of the competition so that he can have the spotlight all to himself.

By Ross Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is a Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A hilarious paperback picture book from the award-winning, bestselling author and illustrator, Ross Collins, about a mischievous dog who steals the limelight.

Uh-oh! An excitable (but very loveable) dog has found his way into this First Animals book and he will NOT let any of the other animals take their turn. Dogs are far more important, after all! And when the other animals get angry, this dog comes up with a very cunning plan to outwit them . . .

A funny family story to share at bedtime - or any time!

A brilliant, brightly coloured gift that will make…


Book cover of I Could Chew on This: And Other Poems by Dogs

Deborah Taylor-French Author Of Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries

From my list on dogs and canine behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I’m not out rescuing lost dogs or walking our dog, Beau, in the hills of Sonoma County, I’m reading, writing, blogging, or offering writers' support. Our family started when we took in a baby for foster care, then a year later, after great effort, prayer, and help, we completed her adoption. As for canines, we’ve adopted four dogs, all from dogs returned to their breeders or an animal shelter. Three of our dogs happened to be only one year old when we took them in. I continue to research and edit my Dog Leader Mysteries blog. Twelve years blogging about saving dogs.

Deborah's book list on dogs and canine behavior

Deborah Taylor-French Why did Deborah love this book?

Another book of wonders, one I enjoy giving as a gift. I Could Chew on This is full of fun and funny poems about dogs. I gifted it to my ninety-five-year-old friend. It helped her laugh and enjoy life through our shared love of dogs. 

By Francesco Marciuliano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Could Chew on This as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dog lovers will laugh out loud at the quirkiness and unbridled enthusiasm of their canine pals in this hilarious collection of poems by lovable, if sometimes misguided, dogs. In these tongue-in-cheek poems, the author who successfully interpreted the musings of poetic felines in the bestseller I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats now turns his talent to our canine friends who yearn to share their creativity and explain some of their hidden motives. Featuring such titles as 'I Dropped a Ball,' 'I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House,' and 'Can You Smell That' and accompanied…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, Anthrozoology, and jealousy?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, Anthrozoology, and jealousy.

Dogs Explore 401 books about dogs
Anthrozoology Explore 134 books about Anthrozoology
Jealousy Explore 9 books about jealousy