|“||No more Spitz, no more trouble, eh?||„|
|~ Francois on Spitz's death.|
Spitz is the main antagonist of Jack London's 1903 short adventure novel The Call of the Wild, and the secondary antagonist of the 1972 adaptation. He is Buck’s archrival and the oppressive leader of Francois and Perrault's dog team.
He was portrayed by Kino in Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon.
Going to the Yukon
When Buck and Curly were bought by Francois and Perrault, they were taken to the Narwal ship to the Yukon. In the decks of the Narwal, Buck and Curly were joined by Spitz and Dave. Spitz was friendly, but in a wicked way, smiling into one's face the while he meditated some underhand trick, as for instance, when he stole from Buck's food at the first meal. As Buck sprang to punish him, the slash of Francois' whip sang through the air, reaching the culprit first; and nothing remained to Buck but to recover the bone.
Enemy with Buck
After watching Curly getting killed by a pack of wild huskies, Spitz laughed at her fate and from that minute on, he became Buck's archnemesis, because Buck hated the fact that he laughed at his friend's death. Before Buck had recovered from the shock caused by Curly's tragic death, he received another shock. Francois fastened upon him an arrangement of straps and buckles. It was a harness, such as he had seen the grooms put on the horses at home. And as he had seen horses work, so he was set to work, hauling Francois on a sled to the forest that fringed the valley, and returning with a load of firewood. Though his dignity was sorely hurt by thus being made a draught animal, he was too wise to rebel. He buckled down with a will and did his best, though it was all new and strange. Spitz was the leader, likewise experienced, and while he could not always get at Buck, he growled sharp reproof now and again, or cunningly threw his weight in the traces to jerk Buck into the way he should go. Buck learned easily, and under the combined tuition of his two mates and Francois made remarkable progress.
When Spitz causes the chase of the rabbit to come to a halt, and the rabbit is ripped apart and eaten, Buck (who led the chase) knows that it is time for the final battle for mastery with Spitz. At first, Buck is severely wounded and bleeding from many cuts all over his body, while Spitz is untouched. The fight gets desperate, but Buck eventually breaks Spitz's two fore legs and Spitz is left helpless, trying to drive away impending death by snarling and bristling. But Buck injures him even more, leaving the remainder of poor Spitz to be torn apart by the other dogs who watched and waited all around them. That is the last Buck saw of Spitz. He vanishes from sight under the mass of sled-dogs. Buck rejoices over his victory and claims leadership the following day. After Spitz's demise, Francois and Perrault try to make Sol-leks the new leader, but they reluctantly decide to have Buck replace Spitz after he insisted on being the new leader.
Spitz is shown to be a very manipulative, jealous, heartless, ruthless, greedy, quarrelsome, scheming, sadistic, sociopathic and callous dog who terrorizes his fellow pack members. After watching Curly getting mauled to death by a pack of huskies, he laughed at her death, causing Buck to be his archnemesis. His hatred for Buck is made out of pure jealousy. He is shown to be very cruel and pugilistic (meaning that he will start a fight with anyone if they so much as accidentally breathe on him). He also rules his pack like a tyrant and Buck is the only dog who could stand up to him.
- In many versions, it was Spitz who killed Curly, even though she was killed by a pack of wild huskies and Spitz laughed at her death in the original novel.
- He is unrelated to the rabid beagle from the 2009 stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox.
- Spitz isn't always portrayed as a white dog like in the novel.
- Spitz never appeared in the 1935 film. Instead, he was replaced by a wealthy Englishman named Mr. Smith.
- His only credited role so far is the 1997 TV movie Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon, where he was played by Kino.
- In the 1972 film, the animal that Spitz and Buck were trying to kill was an Arctic fox instead of a snowshoe hare. However, Buck was trying to save the animal from Spitz instead of killing it for food.
- In the 1972 film and 2000 series, he and the team are owned by John Thornton, while Francois and Perrault served as minor antagonists in the 1972 film.
- His role of the big bad is replaced by Black Burton in the 1972 film and the 2002 animated film.
- In Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon, Spitz didn't laugh at Curly's death after she got mauled by the huskies. Instead, he gave an ominous stare to Buck as he tried to warn him.
- When Hal, Mercedes and Charles buy Buck and his team in the 1997 film, Spitz and Curly can be seen in the team, even though they're supposed to be dead.
- Like many versions of Buck, Spitz is portrayed as a German Shepherd in the 2000 series.
- In the 1972 film, the dog he killed was a random dog instead of Curly, as she never existed in the adaptation.
- In the 1991 Disney live action film White Fang, one of the dogs owned by Alex Larson and Skunker is named Fritz, a reference to Spitz's name.
- In the 1981 anime film Call of the Wild: Howl Buck, when Buck and Spitz battle to the death, they're battling in the water, but in the next shot, they're on land.
- In the anime film, he has pointy ears instead of floppy ears like in the book.
- As his name suggests, he is from Spitsburgen, an island situated in the Svalbard archipelago north of Norway.
- Although he only appeared in the first three chapters, he is still the main antagonist because he had bigger plans than anyone else and was Buck's archrival.
- It is currently unknown who his voice actor will be in the 2020 film directed by Chris Sanders.