Given that the novel’s narrator focuses almost exclusively on Buck’s thoughts and interactions with the world, London offers the reader little insight into Spitz’s character. A large, white dog with extensive experience traversing the rugged conditions of the north, Spitz is the heartless and aggressive leader of Francois and Perrault’s sled-dog team. He maintains his leadership position by any means necessary, and this perspective puts him in direct conflict with Buck as he seeks to master the wild environment around him. Beyond these details, Spitz remains a rather one-dimensional character throughout. At the same time, however, this lack of depth is precisely what allows his attitude to serve as a powerful contrast to Buck’s. While Spitz unnecessarily picks fights with the other dogs in order to maintain dominance over them, Buck earns the respect of his teammates by standing up for himself and defying the status quo. He even goes so far as to put himself in the middle of Spitz’s attacks on other dogs, protecting them from their leader’s brutal disciplining and undermining his power. Spitz’s reputation as an amoral, selfish dog makes him an ideal foe for the novel’s hero as it calls attention to Buck’s authentic desire to become the best version of himself possible. 

Beyond emphasizing Spitz’s cruelty through the way he mocks and bullies other dogs, London reveals the viciousness of his survival instincts during his final fight with Buck. Both dogs are evenly matched in terms of physical prowess, but Spitz possesses a cunning, devious attitude which, against most dogs, gives him the upper hand. The fight begins when Spitz catches a rabbit that Buck had been chasing after, and although he does not initiate the attack, he dominates early on because of his well-trained, calculated approach. Emphasizing his power in this moment is particularly important for Spitz as it represents the culmination of Buck’s threat to both his leadership position and influence over the team. Resolved to prevent this Southland dog from usurping his dominant position, Spitz expertly weakens Buck until his opponent begins taking a non-conventional approach to his attack. The power balance soon shifts, and this change implies that his commitment to the status-quo is his biggest weakness. Unprepared for a fight in which his tactics fail, Spitz ultimately succumbs to Buck’s retaliation. While this scenario serves the plot as a whole by enabling Buck to take his search for mastery to the next level, it also reflects the inherent vulnerability of dominating characters like Spitz. He may appear malicious, violent, and undefeatable, but in the end, he is no less susceptible to the uncertainties of the wild.