In The Call of the Wild, competition serves as further motivation to succeed. Buck is driven by his survivalist tendencies but also by such qualities as pride and competition. In his thirst to dominate the other alpha dog on the team, Buck drives himself to work harder and ultimately crafts himself into a better and stronger leader. However, competition is also a source of strife, one resulting in violence and destruction, and one that threatens the unity of the sled team.
Although they appear at first to be at odds, competition and camaraderie are intrinsically linked in the wild.
Buck's fierce competition with Spitz represents a competition within himself, a fight between the half of him that is civilized and the half that is wild.