There are several key aspects to what goes into the judging of a Shiba Inu. A general rule of thumb for those pet owners wanting to enter into their dog in a dog show is to not place collars on the dog as it will leave an unwanted imprint circling the neck. Because it is native to Japan, the Shiba Inu is judged according to the Japanese official set of rules.
The teeth of a Shiba Inu do not have a specified set of criteria that they have to meet. It is up to a judge on the standard to which he believes a Shiba Inu's teeth should be during any given competition. The eyes of Shiba Inu should be nearly black, but not completely. The tail must curl atop the back of a Shiba Inu and the curl must be set high and loose. And finally, the gait is expected to be light and bouncy.
The urajiro, or white markings, of a Shiba Inu is paid close attention to in competition settings. There are certain expectations of the various coat colorings. For example, Red Sesame is properly displayed when the hair is tipped with black and is not completely a solid red. Urajiro, white strips of color, are acceptable, while huge round spots called peony spots are not. The urajiro is expected to be mainly on the sides of the mouth, on the cheeks and on the chest. Freckling, and not strips, are not desirable on a Shiba Inu show dog.
Interestingly, there is a coat coloring requirement for the varying sizes of the Shiba Inu. They are quite specific for the small and medium sized dogs. White fur on a Shiba Inu of small stature is not acceptable. Small dogs are expected to be of the colors tan, black, or red. The colors should not be faded at all and the medium to small size should not have white fur completely covering the cheek and eye area.
Finally, the only things that may get a Shiba Inu disqualified are related to the reproductive organs. The dog must has have both testicles and no polyps, or else he will be disqualified. A Shiba Inu who has only one testicle can still remain a contender within a dog show, but he may lose some points from his overall score.
Despite all of the requirements for a Shiba Inu to be in a dog show, it is of course does not mean that every pet Shiba Inu is somehow less than stellar if he does not meet one of the requirements. In fact, slight deviation from the norm is what is expected of the Shiba Inu as the breed is known for its courageousness and its unpredictability.