FANDOM



And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domestic generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time when the wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down. I was no task for him to cut and slash and the quick wolf snap. In this manner had fought the forgotten ancestors. They quickened the old life within him, and the old tricks which they had stamped into the hereditary of the breed were his tricks. They came to him without effort or discovery, as though they had been his always. And when, on a still cold night, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him. And his cadences were their cadences, the cadences which voiced their woe and what to them was the meaning of the stiffness, and the cold, and dark.
~ The Narrator about Buck.

Buck is the main protagonist of Jack London's 1903 short adventure novel The Call of the Wild, and its adaptations. At first, Buck is a pampered dog living in the Santa Clara Valley in California. However, the Judge's gardner, Manuel captures him and sells him to the Yukon. As the story progresses, Buck changes as he is forced to work as a sled dog in the harsh conditions of the Yukon. However, a man named John Thornton rescues him and adopts him and Buck begins to become part of the wild.

History

Buck is a large and powerful St Bernard-Scotch Shepherd living happily in California's Santa Clara Valley as the pampered pet of rich Judge Miller and his family. However, he is stolen by the gardener's assistant, Manuel, and sold to finance his gambling addiction. He is ill-treated and starved by the smugglers, while being shipped to Seattle. He attacks a trainer known as the "man in the red sweater", but he teaches him the "law of the club" until he tires out and shows some kindness towards him. Buck is then sold to a pair of French-Canadian mailers named François and Perrault, who take him with them to the Klondike region of Canada. There, they train him as a sled dog. From his teammates, he quickly learns to survive cold winter nights and the pack society. Buck befriends a female Newfoundland dog named Curly, but she gets killed by a pack of wild huskies. A rivalry develops between Buck and the evil lead dog Spitz. Buck eventually beats Spitz in a fight to the death. Spitz is killed by the pack after his defeat by Buck, and Buck eventually becomes the leader of the team.

When Francois and Perrault reach Dawson with their dispatches, and are given new orders from the Canadian government, the team is then sold to a "Scotch half-breed" man, who is also working the mail service. The dogs must carry heavy loads to the mining areas, and the journeys they make are tiresome and long. One of the team, a morose husky named Dave, becomes sick and the half-breed is forced to put him out of his misery.

Buck's next owners are a trio of inexperienced and incompetent stampeders named Hal, Charles and Mercedes. They struggle to control the sled and ignore helpful advice from others, in particular the warnings that the spring melt poses dangers. They overfeed the dogs and then starve them when the food runs out. On their journey they meet John Thornton, an experienced outdoorsman, who notices the dogs have been poorly treated and are in a weakened condition. He warns the trio against crossing the river, but they ignore his advice and order Buck to move on. Exhausted, starving, and sensing the danger ahead, Buck refuses and continues to lie unmoving in the snow. After Buck is beaten by Hal, Thornton recognizes him to be a remarkable dog. Disgusted by the driver's treatment of Buck, Thornton hits Hal with the butt of his axe, cuts Buck free from his traces, and tells the trio he is keeping him, much to Hal's displeasure. After some argument, the trio leaves and tries to cross the river, but as Thornton warned, the ice breaks, and the three fall into the river and drown, along with the sled and neglected dogs.

Buck comes to love and grow devoted to Thornton as he nurses him back to health. He saves Thornton when the man is being beaten by a gangster named Black Burton and falls into a river. After Thornton takes him on trips to pan for gold, a bonanza king named Matthewson, wagers Thornton on the dog's strength and devotion. Buck wins by breaking a half-ton sled free of the frozen ground, pulling it 100 yards and winning US$1,600 in gold dust. A king of the Skookum Benches offers a large sum to buy Buck, but Thornton has grown fond of him and declines. Using his winnings, John Thornton retires his debts, but elects to continue searching for gold. 

While Thornton and his two friends Pete and Hans are panning in a campsite, Buck explores the wilderness and socializes with a timber wolf from a local pack. However, Buck decides not join the wolves and elects to return to Thornton, mirroring John's refusal to sell Buck. However, Buck returns to the campsite to find Hans and Pete murdered, then sees John Thornton suffered the same fate. Buck finds out the murderers were a group of Yeehat Indians when he realizes the Yeehats also stole John Thornton's luggage (as the items still bore the kindly man's scent). Buck eventually kills the natives to avenge Thornton, and he then is attacked by an entire pack of wolves. Buck wins the fight, then finds that his wild brother was in the pack he fought. Buck then follows the wolf and its pack into the forest, and answers the call of the wild. The legend of Buck is spread amongst other Indian tribes as the "Ghost Dog of the Northland". Buck comes out of the backwoods once a year on the anniversary of his attack on the Yeehats, at the former campsite where he was last with John Thornton, Hans and Pete, in order to mourn their deaths.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In several other adaptations, he's portrayed as a German Shepherd instead of a St Bernard-Scotch Collie mix.
  • He made a guest appearance in the Disney version of White Fang, where he is a fighting dog owned by Beauty Smith until White Fang defeated him.
  • Some of the scenes in White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf are loosely based on the book, such as Henry and White Fang getting knocked into the current (similar to Thornton getting knocked into the current) and how White Fang makes a difficult decision to help Henry find the caribou or stay with his mate.
  • In the 1923 version, he is from England instead of California.
  • In the 1935 film, his new master is renamed Jack Thornton.

Navigation

           WhiteDisneyLogo Heroes

Animated Features
Snow White | Seven Dwarfs (Doc, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy & Dopey) | The Prince | Pinocchio | Jiminy Cricket | Geppetto | Blue Fairy | Figaro | Cleo | Madame Upanova | Hyacinth Hippo | Ben Ali Gator | Dumbo | Timothy Q. Mouse | Mrs. Jumbo | Bambi | Thumper | Flower | Faline | Bambi's Mother | Great Prince of the Forest | Friend Owl | José Carioca | Panchito Pistoles | Willie the Whale | Bongo the Bear | Lulubelle | Willie | Mr. J. Thaddeus Toad | Water Rat | Angus MacBadger | Pecos Bill | Slue-Foot Sue | Ichabod Crane | Katrina Van Tassel | Cinderella | Jaq and Gus | Anastasia Tremaine | Fairy Godmother | Prince Charming | Bruno | The King | Grand Duke | Alice | Peter Pan | Tinker Bell | Wendy Darling | John Darling | Michael Darling | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Lady | Tramp | Jock | Trusty | Annette, Collette and Danielle | Aurora | Prince Phillip | Flora | Fauna | Merryweather | King Stefan | Queen Leah | King Hubert | Pongo | Perdita | Roger Radcliffe | Anita Radcliffe | Nanny | Lucky | Patch | Rolly | Colonel | Sergeant Tibbs | Captain | Arthur Pendragon | Merlin | Archimedes | Mowgli | Baloo | Bagheera | King Louie | Colonel Hathi | Shanti | Winifred | Rama | Vultures | Raksha | Duchess | Thomas O'Malley | Marie | Toulouse | Berlioz | Scat Cat | Robin Hood | Little John | Maid Marian | Friar Tuck | Skippy Rabbit | Sis Rabbit | Lady Kluck | Alan-A-Dale | King Richard | Toby Turtle | Tagalong Rabbit | Winnie the Pooh | Tigger | Piglet | Eeyore | Rabbit | Owl | Kanga | Roo | Christopher Robin | Gopher | Bernard | Bianca | Evinrude | Tod | Copper | Big Mama | Dinky and Boomer | Vixey | Widow Tweed | Tod's mother | Taran | Gurgi | Eilonwy | Fflewddur Fflam | Basil of Baker Street | Dr. David Q. Dawson | Olivia Flaversham | Toby | Hiram Flaversham | Oliver | Dodger | Tito | Rita | Francis | Einstein | Fagin | Jenny Foxworth | Georgette | Ariel | Eric | Sebastian | Flounder | Scuttle | King Triton | Max | Cody | Jake | Marahute | Belle | Beast | Lumière | Cogsworth | Mrs. Potts | Chip Potts | Fifi | Maurice | Aladdin | Jasmine | Genie | Magic Carpet | Abu | Rajah | Iago | Razoul | The Sultan | Simba | Mufasa | Nala | Timon | Pumbaa | Rafiki | Zazu | Sarabi | Sarafina | Pocahontas | John Smith | Meeko | Flit | Percy | Thomas | Chief Powhatan | Quasimodo | Esmeralda | Captain Phoebus | Victor, Hugo, & Laverne | Djali | Clopin | Hercules | Megara | Pegasus | Philoctetes | Zeus | Hera | Hermes | Olympian Gods (Poseidon, Aphrodite, Apollo) | Muses | Fa Mulan | Mushu | Li Shang | Cri-Kee | Grandmother Fa | Yao, Ling and Chien Po | Khan the Horse | Ancestors | Tarzan | Jane Porter | Terk | Tantor | Kala | Archimedes Q. Porter | Kerchak | Baboons | Whales | Tin Soldier | Ballerina | Yo Yo Flamingo | Spring Sprite | Aladar | Plio | Zini | Yar | Suri | Neera | Eema | Baylene | Url | Bruton | Kuzco | Pacha | Kronk | Milo James Thatch | Kida | Dr. Joshua Sweet | Vincenzo Santorini | Gaetan Moliére | Lilo Pelekai | Nani Pelekai | Stitch | Jumba Jookiba | Gantu | Pleakley | Jim Hawkins | John Silver | Dr. Doppler | Captain Amelia | Morph | B.E.N. | Kenai | Denahi | Sitka | Koda | Rutt and Tuke | Maggie | Grace | Mrs. Calloway | Buck | Lucky Jack | Chicken Little | Abby Mallard | Runt of the Litter | Fish Out of Water | Buck Cluck | Lewis | Wilbur Robinson | Franny Robinson | Bolt | Mittens | Rhino | Penny | Tiana | Prince Naveen | Louis the Alligator | Ray the Firefly | Eli "Big Daddy" La Bouff | Mama Odie | Rapunzel | Flynn Rider | Pascal | Maximus | Wreck-It Ralph | Vanellope von Schweetz | Fix-It Felix, Jr. | Sergeant Calhoun | Queen Anna | Queen Elsa | Kristoff | Olaf | Sven | Hiro Hamada | Baymax | Honey Lemon | GoGo Tomago | Wasabi | Fred | Alistair Krei | Judy Hopps | Nick Wilde | Chief Bogo | Mr. Big | Moana Waialiki | Maui | Grandma Tala | Chief Tui | Ocean | Heihei | Te Fiti | Yesss | Shank | Lieutenant Mattias | Yelana | Honeymaren | Ryder Nattura


Live-Action Movies
Marnie Piper | Aggie Cromwell | Gwen Piper | Dylan Piper | Sophie Piper | Long John Silver | Perri | Travis Coates | Old Yeller | Nikki | Andre Dupas | Neewa | Makoki | Big Red | Herbie | Chico | Goodtime Charlie | Dexter Reilly | Richard Schuyler | Wahb | Moki | Miss Eglantine Price | Theodore and Amos | Pete | Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7 | Frank Wilson | Popeye | Olive Oyl | Kevin Flynn | Alan Bradley | Dr. Lora Baines | Jack Pumpkinhead | Billina | Tik-Tok | The Gump | Wolf | Benji | Cougar cubs | Mother Cougar | Jim Craig | Roger Rabbit | Eddie Valiant | Jessica Rabbit | Benny the Cab | Ted Johnson | Susan Johnson | Morogo | Duma | White Fang | Jack Conroy | Henry Casey | Buck | Cliff Secord | Jenny Blake | Gordon Bombay | Wayne Szalinski | Max Dennison | Dani Dennison | Allison | Thackery Binx | Tom Sawyer | Huckleberry Finn | Aramis | Athos | D'Artagnan | Porthos | George Knox | Scott Calvin | Charlie Calvin | Shadow | Chance | Sassy | James Henry Trotter | Mr. Centipede | Mr. Grasshopper | Earthworm | Mrs. Ladybug | Miss Spider | Glowworm | Oddball | George of the Jungle | Ursula Stanhope | Ape | Phillip Brainard | Sara Jean Reynolds | Mr. Magoo | Nick Parker | Annie James | Nick Parker | Elizabeth James | Mighty Joe Young | Jill Young | Gregg O'Hara | Martin | Inspector Gadget | Penny Gadget | Brain | Dr. Brenda Bradford | Max Keeble | Megan | Robe | Carol Newman-Calvin | Stanley Yelnats IV | Zero (Holes) | Captain Jack Sparrow | Joshamee Gibbs | Will Turner | Elizabeth Swann | Hector Barbossa | James Norrington | Jim Evers | Sara Evers | Madame Leota | Emma | Anna Coleman | Phileas Fogg | Inspector Fix | Ben Gates | Riley Poole | Abigail Chase | Shane Wolfe | Zoe Plummer | Lulu Plummer | Will Stronghold | Layla Williams | Warren Peace | Zach | Ethan | Magenta | Ron Wilson | The Commander | Jetstream | Freeze Girl | Principal Powers | Coach Boomer | Jonathan Boy | Mr. Medulla | Peter Pevensie | Susan Pevensie | Edmund Pevensie | Lucy Pevensie | Aslan | Mr. Beaver | Dave Douglas | Jess Aarons | Leslie Burke | Giselle | Robert Philip | Prince Edward | Pip | Nathaniel | Underdog | Sweet Polly Purebred | Jack Unger | Prince Caspian | Skeeter Bronson | Darwin | Blaster | Juarez | Hurley | Mooch | Alice Kingsleigh | Mad Hatter | White Queen | Bandersnatch | Prince Dastan | Princess Tamina | Sheik Amar | Dave Stutler | Balthazar Blake | Balthazar's Eagle | Kevin Flynn | Sam Flynn | John Carter | Troy Bolton | Sharpay Evans | Ryan Evans | Gabriella Montez | Chad Danforth | Taylor McKessie | Woola | The Lone Ranger | Tonto | Oscar Diggs | Glinda the Good Witch of the South | China Girl | Maleficent (2014) | Diaval | Aurora (2014) | Prince Phillip (2014) | Knotgrass, Flittle and Thistlewit | The Baker | The Baker's Wife | Cinderella | Rapunzel | Little Red Riding Hood | Cinderella (2015) | Prince Charming (2015) | Anastasia Tremaine (2015) | Mice (2015) | Fairy Godmother (2015) | Jaq and Gus (2015) | Casey Newton | Frank Walker | Athena | Mowgli (2016) | Bagheera (2016) | Baloo (2016) | Raksha (2016) | The BFG | Sophie | Belle (2017) | Beast (2017) | Maurice (2017) | Lumière (2017) | Cogsworth (2017) | Mrs. Potts (2017) | Chip Potts (2017) | Dumbo (2019) | Aladdin (2019) | Jasmine (2019) | Genie (2019) | Magic Carpet (2019) | Abu (2019) | Rajah (2019) | Dalia | The Sultan (2019) | Simba (2019) | Mufasa (2019) | Nala (2019) | Timon (2019) | Pumbaa (2019) | Rafiki (2019) | Zazu (2019) | Sarabi (2019) | Sarafina (2019) | Lady (2019) | Tramp (2019) | Jock (2019) | Trusty (2019) | Annette, Collette and Danielle (2019)

Other Animated Movies
Br'er Rabbit | Toaster | Blanky | Kirby | Lampy | Radio | Jack Skellington | Sally | Zero | Mayor of Halloween Town | Santa Claus | Valiant | Samson | Benny the Squirrel | Bridget the Giraffe | Nigel | Larry the Anaconda | Ryan | Silvermist | Rosetta | Fawn | Iridessa | Bobble and Clank | Terence | Milo | Gribble | Ki | Milo's Mother | Victor Frankenstein | Sparky | Elsa Van Helsing | Dusty Crophopper | Dottie | Skipper Riley | Sparky | El Chupacabra | Vidia | Zarina | Marianne | Dawn | Sunny | Bog King

Sequels
Ethan Dalloway | Cassim | Angelique | Fife | John Rolfe | Uttamatomakkin | Kiara | Kovu | Vitani | Ratso | Wittgenstein | Melody | Tip and Dash | Sylvia Marpole | Scamp | Angel | Madellaine | Zephyr | Prudence | Jane | Ranjan | Sparky | Reuben | Thunderbolt | Lars | Ting-Ting, Su, and Mei | Zugor | Cash | Atka | Dixie | Granny Rose | Waylon and Floyd | Queen Athena | Blade Ranger | Maru | Lil' Dipper | Windlifter

Shorts, TV Shows, Comics and Video Games
Pete | Oswald the Lucky Rabbit | Mickey Mouse | Minnie Mouse | Horace Horsecollar | Pluto | Goofy | Donald Duck | Daisy Duck | Ludwig Von Drake | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey, and Louie | Mortimer Mouse | Chip 'N Dale | Max Goof | Gladstone Gander | Fethry Duck | Gyro Gearloose | Launchpad McQuack | Webby Vanderquack | Bentina Beakley | April, May and June | Darkwing Duck | Gosalyn Mallard | Honker Muddlefoot | Mona | Morgana Macawber | Pistol Pete | Peg Pete | P.J. | Kit Cloudkicker | Rebecca Cunningham | Chiro | Jinmay | Cassandra | Lance Strongbow | Adira | Varian | Sora | Kairi | Riku | Axel | Aqua | Vexen | Terra | Urchin | Gabriella

           20thCenturyFoxLogo Animation Heroes

Animated Features
Niko | Julius | Wilma | Saga | Jonni | Larn | Princess Teegra | Darkwolf | Crysta | Pips | Batty Koda | Zak Young | Beetle Boys | Richard Tyler | Adventure, Horror & Fantasy | The Pagemaster | Anastasia Romanov | Dimitri | Vladimir | Pooka | Bartok | Zozi | Olive | Martini | Cale Tucker | Akima Kunimoto | Joseph Korso | Gune | Stith | Homer Simpson | Marge Simpson | Bart Simpson | Lisa Simpson | Maggie Simpson | Santa's Little Helper | Milhouse Van Houten | Krusty the Clown | Waylon Smithers | Lindsey Naegle | Nelson Muntz | Scratchy | Kamala | Daniel Dolphin | Mr. Fox | Mrs. Fox | Kylie Sven Opossum | Ash Fox | Kristofferson Silverfox | Clive Badger | Patchi | Alex | Juniper | Manolo Sánchez | Maria Posada | Joaquín Mondragon | La Muerte | Candlemaker | Xibalba | Chief | Atari Kobayashi | Rex | King | Duke | Boss | Spots | Tracy Walker | Professor Watanabe

Live-Action Films
Garfield | Alvin Seville | Simon Seville | Theodore Seville | Brittany Miller | Jeanette Miller | Eleanor Miller | Buck

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+