The Akita Inu is the original Japanese form of the breed known as the Akita in the United States. The types vary by weight and size, and the American Kennel Club allows a black mask, which is not permitted by the Japanese breed standard.
The Akita Inu is smaller than the American Akita, which may stand up to 28 inches tall. The Akita Inu stands up to 26 inches tall. The Akita Inu, originally bred for hunting, is one of seven breeds designated as national monuments in Japan. The breed is also used in police and military work, as a guard dog and as a sled dog.