The setting of Old Yeller is in the 1860's prior to the civil war. It takes place in Salt Lick, Texas. The time span of the novel runs about a year from start to finish. The protagonist is Travis who is left to run the farm with his mother and young brother while his father goes off to work. The story could be considred realistic fiction in that it takes place during a historical time frame in America and depicts real situations that would have been of concern to those living during that time.