|Dorothy McGuire||Katie Coates|
|Fess Parker||Jim Coates|
|Tommy Kirk||Travis Coates|
|Kevin Corcoran||Arliss Coates|
|Jeff York||Bud Searcy|
|Beverly Washburn||Lisbeth Searcy|
|Chuck Connors||Burn Sanderson|
While Jim Coates is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie, and sons, Travis and Arliss, are left behind on their Texas ranch. When a runaway dog named Old Yeller causes damage in one of their fields, Travis tries to drive him away. However, Travis and Katie both warm to Old Yeller when he saves Arliss from a bear attack. As Travis and the brave and faithful dog grow closer, concern grows about an outbreak of rabies.