Lad, A Dog
is a 1919 American novel written by Albert Payson Terhune
and published by E. P. Dutton
. Composed of twelve short stories first published in magazines, the novel is loosely based on the life of Terhune's real-life rough collie
, Lad. Born in 1902, the real-life Lad was an unregistered collie of unknown lineage originally owned by Terhune's father. Lad's death at the age of 18 was mourned by many of the story's fans, particularly children. Through the stories of Lad's adventures, Terhune expresses his views on parenting, obtaining perfect obedience without force, and the nature and rights of the "well-bred". After a slow start, the novel became a best seller in the adult fiction and children's fiction markets, having been repositioned as a young adult novel by Grosset and Dunlap in the 1960s and 1970s. Selling over one million copies, it is Terhune's best-selling work and regarded as the one that propelled him to fame. It has been reprinted over 70 times by Dutton, and republished by a variety of publishers since its original release, including at least six international translations. Contemporaneous critics praised Terhune's writing style and the overall story appeal, while dog breeders criticized his unrealistic canine characters. In retrospective reviews, critics considered that the novel had aged badly, and that Terhune displayed little actual writing skill, but noted that the novel was able to hold long-lasting appeal as it triggered the reader's desire to have such an ideal dog. A series of four children's picture books
based on three of the stories from the novel were published by Margo Lundell between 1997 and 1998.