Whether you want to read dog man books yourself or you want to get them for your kid, knowing the chronology of the books is not essential. Still, you might want to know about all the books you can buy if you like the Dog Man character.
Dog Man is a dog-headed policeman who prevents crimes and chases criminals in a comedic graphic novel series titled after the character. These books can be read by kids as well as teenagers and adults. The books convey lessons about empathy, caring, and connection; all the books that do the best job of delivering this lesson while wrapping it in a compelling story are covered later.
In this post, you will find all the dog man books in order of publication alongside the top titles you should read. But here are the top three Dog Man books at a glance.
Our Best Dog Man Books at a glance:
- Dog Man
- Dog Man Unleashed
- Dog Man and Cat Kid
- Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
- Dog Man: Lord of The Fleas
- Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild
- Dog Man: Fetch-22
Dav Pilkey: The Funnyman Behind The Dog Man Books
The Ohio-born cartoonist and illustrator Dav Pilkey is best known for two book series, one of which is the Dog Man graphic novel series. The other is the Captain Underpants series. Pilkey was born on March 4, 1966, in a religious household. His dad was a reverend, and his mom was a church organist. He also went to Christian schools throughout his life.
As a kid, he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, which meant he was not set up for success in school. In various interviews, he has described instances that involved teachers telling him he was no good. In second grade, he thought up the Captain Underpants character because it follows a super-strict school principal who gets hypnotized into being a superhero.
Pilkey fantasized about such an absurd concept because he felt powerless in a strict school environment that wasn’t designed to accept neurodivergent people like him. Now, kids who feel like school is tough and education is hard can relate to the kids in Captain Underpants.
Teachers, back then, weren’t amused with it. Fortunately, his parents and peers appreciated his cartoons because one of his teachers tore up the initial drawing of Captain Underpants right in his face.
Today, the character is valued at well over a million dollars and has inspired an animated movie starring Kevin Hart. While Captain Underpants and Dog Man are his most celebrated creations, they aren’t the only successful series he has launched.
Dragon, Dumb Bunnies, Cat Kid, and Big Dog & Little Dog are some of the book series that he has written to commercial and critical acclaim.
Dog Man Books In Order Of Publication
- Dog Man (2016)
- Dog Man: Unleashed (2016)
- Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties (2017)
- Dog Man and Cat Kid (2017)
- Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas (2018)
- Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild (2018)
- Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls (2019)
- Dog Man: Fetch-22 (2019)
- Dog Man: Grime and Punishment (2020)
- Dog Man: Mothering Heights (2021)
- Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea (2022)
Dog Man Spin-Off Books In Order of Publication:
- Cat Kid Comic Club (2020)
- Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives (2021)
- Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose (2022)
- Cat Kid Comic Club: Collaborations (2022)
Best Dog Man Books
Dog Man is the first graphic novel in the Dog Man series and introduces the character as a result of an accident. Petey, dubbed “the world’s most evilest cat,” accidentally creates Dog Man. The character then embraces his nature and becomes the superhero that kids love. While most Dog Man volumes have internal chronology from chapter to chapter, this one doesn’t.
The stories in this volume are independent of the chapters, making it a good, precise introductory installment in a fantastic series. This book is a must-read if you plan to get into the Dog Man series. If you want to read just one volume, then you can pick whichever interests you the most. And based on viewer ratings, it seems like the first book is also the most celebrated one.
This is the second installment in the Dog Man series and follows up the previous volume perfectly. Here, a mysterious character with telekinetic abilities is an antagonist alongside Petey, the consistent nemesis of Dog Man. By now, Dog Man is a cop and has to investigate a pet store robbery that occurs after the chief’s birthday.
This book brings together Dog Man and Cat Kid as they embrace their tongue-in-cheek referential superhero personas. Dog Man is the Bark Knight (just like Batman is the Dark Knight), and Lil Petey, a clone of Petey, is the Cat Kid.
Petey disguises himself as a babysitter to get access to Lil Petey. Throughout the story, he tries to convince his little clone that he is destined to be an evil mastermind. Lil Petey was first introduced in the third volume, which you don’t need to read to get the story of this book.
This is the third installment in the Dog Man series and follows the story of Petey and Lil Petey. Since Lil Petey is a recurring character, it makes sense to read A Tale of Two Kitties before you read books past Dog Man #3.
In this book, Lil Petey is shown as the positive opposite of Petey’s self-proclaimed “Most Evilest” title. It has a low-stakes setting ideal for kids and comes with a satisfying conclusion.
After the first Dog Man and Cat Kid adventure, Lord of The Fleas takes an interesting turn by adding Petey to the team, albeit temporarily. The world’s most evilest cat joins forces with Dog Man and Cat Kid to stop a swarm of new villains. Along with the three heroes, there is a robot who greatly assists in this adventure.
This is one of the Dog Man books that adults enjoy a lot more than kids. It is still aimed at kids but also explores themes like identity and social status. Dog Man is framed for a crime he did not commit and is sent to the dog pound.
Since he is not just a dog or a normal man, he has to find his place while imprisoned. Throughout the story, his friends try to get him out, which becomes the main plot driver.
In this book, Dog Man is free, and Petey has had his share of introspection. Now the two are on a fast track to burying the hatchet, while Lil Petey seems to be on a different track. The Cat Kit is having a hard time finding the good in the world as he is exposed to the alternative side of human goodness and the shades of grey.
As the eighth installment in the Dog Man series, this book has more mature themes that even adults can appreciate alongside the kids who grow up reading Dog Man books.
Dog Man FAQs:
How Many Books Are There In Dog Man?
The Dog Man series has ten books, starting with the volume titled Dog Man and concluding with Mothering Heights. While there have been 10 books for over a year, Scholastics or Dav Pilkey haven’t announced that they are done with the series.
You can expect Dog Man to reappear in another adventure or alongside one of the other Dav Pilkey characters in their series. Dog Man might also make an appearance in a screen adaptation or a feature film like Captain Underpants, who is also a Dav Pilkey character.
What Age Group Is Dog Man For?
Dog Man is for kids ages 7 to 13, though the books are written to be interesting for readers of all ages. These books are popular because they don’t bore the adults who read them to their children. School teachers also enjoy Dog Man books.
Five-year-olds can also understand the events in Dog Man’s narrative but might not find some of the jokes funny. Details can fly over kids’ heads, which they can appreciate upon rereading the books later on. Dog Man books have a high reread value.
Why Do Children Like Dog Man?
Children like Dog Man because the character was invented by a child who grew up to write graphic novels. It is one of the more relatable characters in kids’ fiction. Moreover, kids love dogs, and Dog Man is half-dog. The themes of positivity, empathy, and protecting children also fuel the positive reception of Dog Man among kids.
What Lessons Does Dog Man Teach?
Dog Man teaches tolerance, heroism, and friendliness, among other things. It instills the right values in kids and prioritizes positivity over arbitrary grades, judgments, and classifications.
It also celebrates humor and being offbeat while appreciating the greys in the world. Even the “Most Evilest Cat In The World” has his reasons.
Wrapping It Up
While individual dog man books have their own stories that can be enjoyed independently, there is an underlying chronology worth enjoying if you’re among the older readers. Dog Man books are popular among kids, pre-teens, and adults and can be bought in box sets as well as individually.
Given that the series has only ten books (so far), it is better to get them all. But if you want to buy just the best entries, get to the top three Dog Man books mentioned in this post.