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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 of the same name. He is Buck's arch-rival 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.

Biography

Going to the Yukon

He accompanied a geological survey to the Canadian Barrens after being brought by a whaling captain from Spitsburgen and had a long history of leadership. 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, they were introduced to Spitz and Dave. Spitz acted friendly towards Buck, but in a wicked way. He sneered at Buck and stole his meal. As Buck chased after him to punish him, he received a whip from Francois and Buck recovered his meal.

Enemy with Buck

When the ship finally arrived at the Yea beach, Curly tried to make friends with a wild husky. This was a great mistake however, as she was unaware of the law of the fang. Several other huskies came and viciously attacked her. Francois came to her aid as Spitz sadistically laughs at her. After her death, Spitz laughed again and Buck became his archnemesis, because he hated the fact that he laughed at his friend's fate. When two brothers named Billie and Joe were joined, Spitz began to attack Billie as he tries to make friends with him and Joe intervenes. An older and more aggressive dog named Sol-leks was also bought and Spitz reluctantly left him alone. Spitz treated his team cruelly and Buck was the only dog who could defeat him. Buck, as a dog from the Southland, was viewed by Spitz as a threat to his leadership.

One day, Spitz steals Buck's nest and they begin to fight to the death until Francois and Perrault break them up. Soon, another wild husky attack occurred and the team fought for their lives. Buck tries to help them, but Spitz attacks him in an attempt to prevent him from intefering until the attack ended. Shortly after the attack, one of the dogs named Dolly contracted rabies and began chasing Buck until Francois put her out of her misery. As Buck heavilly gasps for air, Spitz took the opportunity to ambush him in an attempt to tear him to shreds until he received a painful whip from Francois.

Final Battle

While many of the other Southland dogs didn't have the strength to stand up to Spitz, Buck had the courage to take him down. Buck and Spitz were aware that the fight for leadership would come and the other dogs began to challenge his authority. When Pike was missing, Spitz viciously searched the camp, while Pike hid in fear. When Spitz found him, he attempted to punish him, but Buck intervened and knocked him to the ground. Francois attempted to break up the fight, to no avail. Francois whipped Buck, while Spitz attacked Pike. When the team headed for Dawson, the dogs' rebellion against Spitz began to increase. Upon arrival, Buck met a large number of sled dogs and they followed him. The entire team began to rebel against Spitz, only for him to punish them.

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 manages to break 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 as he vanishes from sight under the mass of the sled dogs. Buck rejoices over his victory and claims leadership the following day.

Personality

He was friendly, in a treacherous sort of way, smiling into one's face the while he meditated some underhand trick.
~ The Narrator about Spitz.
Spitz is shown to be a very manipulative, jealous, heartless, ruthless, greedy, quarrelsome, scheming, sadistic, sociopathic and callous dog who enjoys terrorizing Buck and oppressing his team. After watching Curly getting mauled to death by a pack of huskies, he took pleasure in watching her die and laughed at her fate, which made Buck to be his archnemesis. 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). It is stated that he rules his pack like a tyrant and Buck is the only dog who could stand up to him. Due to Buck being a dog from the Southland, he believes that him adapting in the Northland would become a threat to his leadership. He despises other dogs with soft personalities and attempted to prevent Buck from interfering with the last jusky attack in order to show his dominance, showing that he is willing to let his team get killed. Despite his aggressive nature, he does have at least some sense of respect as he is willing to leave Sol-leks alone and not approach his blind side.

Gallery

Book

Adaptations

Videos

Trivia

  • 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.
  • 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 if he will appear in the 2020 film by 20th Century 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.
  • In the anime film, the dog he went to punish after disappearing was Dave. In the book, it was Pike.
  • 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. Buck was also trying to save the animal from Spitz instead of kill 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, who served as a minor antagonist in the novel.
  • 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.
  • In the uncut version of the 1997 movie, Buck's battle with Spitz was slightly longer and Buck is shown walking past Spitz's lifeless body.
  • In the 1976 film, the two mushers allowed Buck and Spitz to fight to the death and buried Spitz's corpse after the fight.
  • 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 an unnamed 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, which is a reference to Spitz's name.
  • He is unrelated to the rabid beagle from the 2009 stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox.
  • In the 1981 anime film Call of the Wild: Howl Buck, when Buck and Spitz battle to the death, they are battling in the water, but in the next shot, they're back on land.
  • In the 1976 and anime adaptations, he has pointy ears instead of floppy ears like in the book.

Navigation

           JackLondonTitle Villains

Books
The Cruise of the Dazzler: French Pete | Red Nelson
The Call of the Wild: Spitz† | Hal, Mercedes and Charles† | Manuel | Yeehats† | Black Burton† | Dolly† | The Man in the Red Sweater | Wild Huskies | The Baggage Man
The Sea-Wolf: Wolf Larsen
White Fang: Beauty Smith | Lip-Lip† | Jim Hall† | The Lynx† | Tim Keenan | Cherokee

Short Stories
Bâtard: Bâtard† | Black Leclère
The Leopard Man's Story: De Ville
Moon-Face: The Protagonist

Movies
Manuel | Spitz | Wild Huskies | Hal, Mercedes and Charles† | Black Burton | The Baggage Man | Yeehats† | Wolf Larsen† | Mr. Smith† | Francois and Perrault† | Beauty Smith (Zanna Bianca)† | Jim Hall (Zanna Bianca) | Chester | Corrupt Mountie | Smith's henchmen | Mr. Ferguson | Ferguson's henchmen | Soapy Smith† | Will Ryan† | Soap Gang | Alpha Wolf† | Murderers† | Beauty Smith (Shiroi Kiba Monogatari) | Beauty Smith's Coachman | The Lynx | Kooch | Lip-Lip | Tim Keenan | Cherokee | Beauty Smith (Disney) | Luke and Tinker | Sykes | Reverend Leland Drury† | Mr. Heath | Miners | Lloyd Halverson | The Protagonist (Moon-Face) | Beauty Smith (Croc-Blanc) | Curtis | Jim Hall (Croc-Blanc) | Ned

Television
Spitz | Hal, Mercedes and Charles | Wolf Larsen | Beauty Smith | David | Jake | Sam Calman | Uncle Jay

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