The book we read for this class was Doggone Dogs by Karen Beaumont & David Catrow. I love the illustrations in this book. They're silly and exaggerated and had the girls laughing.
After the book, I gave each girl an 11x17 piece of paper with two lightly drawn lines - one in the middle going vertically and the other in the middle horizontally. I also had a piece so I could show them (along with explaining) the steps of drawing a dog. They each got a template for the head to get the size correct. I wasn't sure how well they'd do with the proportion of the entire dog without the template. I think that they would have been fine without it.
We went very slowly - drawing first the head, then the nose, the eyes, etc. I did it along with them so they had an idea of what it could look like. Fortunately, no one copied mine! That's always something I'm afraid of when showing a sample.
After the entire dog was drawn, they could paint. The only direction I gave for that was that no one could paint their dog all black. I was afraid that if they did paint all black, it would cover their pencil lines, and they'd lose their drawing. They did a great job! (The first one says, "I'm insane!" It's my dog, Lola.)
(Thank you to Kathy Barbro from Art Projects for Kids for the idea and instructions! Check out her website - lots of great ideas for art projects.)