The book on which this movie is based, "Shiloh", by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, was the 1992 winner of the John Newberry Medal. The Newberry Medal is the highest award given to American-written literature for young adults.

The movie and book were based on events that happened in Friendly, West Virginia.

The character of Doc Wallace is an amalgamation of two characters from the book this movie is based on: Mr. Wallace, who runs a store with his wife, and Doc Murphy, who heals Shiloh after he's attacked by a German Shepherd.

As of August 2020, 4 of the main actors/actresses in this movie have passed away: Scott Wilson (Judd), Blake Heron (Marty), J. Madison Wright (Sam) and Rod Steiger (Doc Wallace)