Working Like a Dog

The Story of Working Dogs through History

Publisher: Tundra Books
Winner of The 2003 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award

Included on VOYA’s ninth annual Nonfiction Honor List

Since the first hungry wolf bravely approached an ancient cooking fire and was rewarded with a scrap of meat, our lives and the lives of dogs have been interwoven. Dogs have worked for us as warriors with ammunition strapped to their bodies. Dogs have gone through snow, icy seas, and into the dangerous rubble of collapsed buildings to rescue us. Dogs, with their spectacular ability to detect odors, keep us safe by finding drugs and explosives. They lead us if we cannot see and react for us when we cannot hear. Most of all, they love us – and we love them.

This fascinating book by Norma Fleck Award-winner, Gena K. Gorrell, describes the dogs of history, the evolution of breeds for different purposes, and the training involved in preparing the modern-day heroes who find lost children, nab criminals, and point out contraband – heroes who just happen to be dogs.


Chapter One


From high on a hillside, brother and sister watch the valley below. The Tall Ones are down there, doing strange things, as usual. The youngsters are fearful of the Tall Ones, but they are hollow with hunger, and their mouths water at the smell of food wafting up from the...
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“A thoroughly researched and captivating offering…. The well-captioned…photographs and reproductions add greatly to a narrative that’s packed with intriguing details…. Report writers will find a wealth of information here, and all readers will gain a strong appreciation for these four-legged wonders.”
School Library Journal

“As entertaining as it is informative…comprehensive….Kids will certainly enjoy…and be amazed…”

“Gorrell’s lively prose and her enthusiastic affection for and appreciation of Canis familiaris makes this very thorough treatise on the dog a pleasure for both those who share Gorrell’s interest and those for whom the world of canids is terra nova.”
The Globe and Mail

“…compelling…. [I]nformation is presented in a very readable, accessible manner…. Dog lovers and history buffs alike will enjoy this impeccably well researched and entertaining book. Highly Recommended.”
CM Magazine

“…fascinating and comprehensive…”
Resource Links

“Gorrell has created a splendid, in-depth book in which even the most fanatical dog lover will discover something new. It’s the perfect book for any dog-mad preteen.”
Quill and Quire

“Fascinating! …it is clear that Gorrell herself loves and appreciates our canine friends. Recommended for dog lovers…”