Only by sheer determination is our protagonist able to live through the harshness of the wilderness and the sled dog lifestyle. In The Call of the Wild, determination is on a basic level about survival, and on a second level about dominance. Buck is determined to survive, but also to be leader, to complete certain tasks, kill certain creatures, and prove himself to have certain qualities.
Buck is differentiated from the other dogs, and especially from Spitz, by his determination.
In the character of Buck, London emphasizes a connection between physical and mental determination.