Two men are out in the wild of the north. Their dogs disappear as they are lured by a she-wolf and eaten by the pack. They only have three bullets left and Bill, one of the men, uses them to try to save one of their dogs; he misses and is eaten with the dog. Only Henry and two dogs are left; he makes a fire, trying to drive away the wolves. They draw in close, and he is almost eaten, saved only by a company of men who were traveling nearby.
The wolves are in the midst of a famine. They continue on, lead by several wolves alongside the she-wolf, and when they finally find food the pack starts to split up. The she-wolf mates with one of the wolves and has a litter of pups. Only one survives after several more famines, and he grows strong and is a feisty pup.
They come to an Indian village where the she-wolf's (who is actually half-wolf, half-dog) master is. He catches her again and White Fang, her pup, stays nearby. Soon, she is sold to another Indian, while White Fang stays with Gray Beaver, her master. The other dogs of the village terrorize White Fang, especially one named Lip-lip.
White Fang becomes more and more vicious, encouraged by his master. He kills other dogs. Gray Beaver goes to Fort Yukon to trade and discovers whiskey. White Fang is passed into the hands of Beauty Smith, a monster of a man. He fights other dogs until he meets his match in a bulldog and is saved only by a man named Scott.
Scott tames White Fang and takes him back to California with him. There White Fang learns to love his master and his master's family and even saves Scott's father from a criminal that escaped from the nearby prison. White Fang has puppies with Collie, one of the master's dogs, and lives a happy life.