The Akita is a living legend in Japan....
Japan is covered in mountainous terrain, and this dogs story begins high in the cool peaks. The ancient ancestors of the Akita, called Odate dogs, were revered guardians, hunters, and fighters. Exposure to European Mastiffs and Great Danes increased the size of the Akita dog. The Japanese breeders preferred smaller dogs, so they organized the Akita-inu Hozankai Society in 1918 to ensure the health and integrity of the breed.
In 1932, an Akita named Hachiko would capture the hearts and minds of Japanese citizens all over the country with an incredible true story of family devotion. When Hachikos master would get off the train from a long day at work, Hachiko would be there to greet him every time. One day, Hachikos master did not get off the train. His master had, sadly, passed away at work. Hachiko waited there at the train for his master. He returned the next day, and the next, for nine incredible years.
Unfailingly faithful, this is the kind of singular devotion to family that the Akita dog is known for. Akitas found their way to America starting in 1937. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972, the dog remains popular in the States.