Skip to Content

Does the dog die in Call Of The Wild?

Does the dog die in Call Of The Wild?

It’s difficult to believe that there is a single person in the US that hasn’t heard of “Call of the Wild”, be it the movie or the novel. It’s especially popular among dog lovers and dog movie lovers. However, even though so many people have read the book or watched the movie, almost all of them wonder “Does the dog die in Call Of The Wild?”. And to be completely honest, I do too!

A few days ago I’ve watched the 2020 version of the movie, and I have to say it left me confused and wanting answers! So I did a little bit of research and decided to share my findings with you.

ALSO READ Golden retriever movie night: The must-watch films

Does the dog die in Call Of The Wild?

First, let’s start off by saying a little bit more about the movie Call Of The Wild.

So, Call of the Wild is a 2020 American adventure movie based on Jack London’s 1903 novel of the same name. It stars big names like Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, and Colin Woodell.

The movie, which was released by 20th Century Studios was a box-office bomb! It earned only $110 million, while the production budget was $125–150 million. So it basically lost the studio an estimated $50–100 million!

But why did this happen?

A picture of Buck from Call of the wild
The hero, Buck, wasn’t played by a real dog but a computer-generated one

Well, one of the reasons might be the fact that Buck, wasn’t played by a real dog but a computer-generated one! This does open up so many opportunities in postproduction, however, the audience doesn’t really accept computer-generated animals.

However, in my opinion, the problem isn’t really the technology. My biggest issue with this move was the fact that the storyline was very uneven. Going from slapstick to poignance to action. It gets a bit confusing after a while.

But, let’s take a look at the plot of this movie.

Plot of Call Of The Wild

The movie Call of the Wild is a story of Buck the dog, a crossbreed between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Collie. In the first part of the movie, we see that Buck lived a carefree life of leisure.

Trailer for Call Of The Wild

This changed when he was stolen from his home in California and sold in Alaska, and taken further to Yukon. During the late 1890s, the Klondike Gold Rush happened, and when strong sled dogs were in high demand. Poor Buck was beaten and tortured.

Even though he used to have a good life, now Buck was forced to tap into his primal instincts. He even becomes the leader of the other freight-hauling dogs after killing the vicious pack leader, a husky named Spitz.

Trouble for Buck

After a while Buck gets into more trouble with the owner of the pack, Hal. He works the poor dogs to exhaustion forcing them to carry a heavy load in weather unsuitable for sledding. At one point Buck refuses to move and Hal pulls out a gun and threatens to kill him.

This is when Thornton appears and rescues Buck while Hal forces the other sled dogs to cross the lake. We find out later on in the story that the other dogs managed to get away too, leaving Hal with nothing. This of course enrages Hal and he wants revenge on Thorton!

Hal decides to track down Thorton and finds him at a saloon. This is where he attacks him but Buck runs to Thortons rescue. Buck and Thornton then travel beyond the Yukon map where they can freely live in the wild.

Life in the wild

Thorton and Buck bond in the wilderness, but eventually Buck actually falls in love with a female white wolf. After living in the wild for some time Thorton decides that it isn’t for him anymore and decides to go back home. Buck stays in the wild but keeps visiting Thorton.

However, Buck finds that Thornton is being attacked by Hal (remember him?) during one such visit. Hal shoots Thornton dead and lights the cabin he lived in on fire, but Buck interrupts him. Buck tackles Hal pushing him into the burning cabin and killing him. Thorton dies in the flames too.

Buck’s new life – Does the dog die in Call Of The Wild

With Thorton dead, Buck goes into the forest to lead a life in the wilderness with his white female wolf.

The movie ends showing Buck in the wilderness. We learn that he got offspring with the white wolf and even became the pack leader of the wolves.


In conclusion, by the ending scene, we can assume that Buck doesn’t die in Call Of The Wild. In fact, he completely alters his life. Buck started as a pet dog and ended up being the leader of a wolf pack. Of course, he never forgot Thorton. Once a year Buck would visit the site of the razed cabin as a sign of loyalty to his late friend.

My name is Jackie and I am a veterinarian with a degree in veterinary medicine. With extensive experience in treating various animals, I am known for my compassionate and personalized approach to animal care.