I promise that, first off, I am 100% sure I don’t need my eyes tested. A lot of people both in Japan and outside of Japan don’t actually know there’s more than one “Shiba Inu”.
When people see the word Shiba Inu they think of a cute Chubby-cheeked orange ball of cuteness. Basically this:
This is what I call the “Modern” Shiba. This is the most common of the 4 and the one almost everyone knows. This is the only Shiba breed found in the western world. They stand at 33-43cm tall and are well known for their characteristic screaming (and also the Doge meme), because this Shiba is so well known, I’ll be refraining in this post from mentioning it any further.
The Jomon Shiba is what a lot of people call the “Original” Shiba and the “Wolf” Shiba. When compared to Taxidermied Japanese Wolves, they look the spitting image of them despite not being wolves nor Wolf hybrids nor are they really that old. Jomon Shiba are a “re creation” breed. They were purposely made to resemble the dogs in Japan from over 1000 years ago. They are taller, leaner and have a shallow stop unlike the “Modern” Shiba Inu. Jomon Shiba rarely have the words “Inu” and “Ken” put next to their name in English for some reason despite the Japanese breeders using “Jomon Shiba Inu”
Jomon Shiba, unlike “Modern” Shiba Inu, are used a lot in Hunting Boars.
There is, as of 2014, 1 Jomon Shiba in the USA.
A lot of Jomon Shiba are registered with SHIBAHO and JSRC rather than NIPPO.
Mino Shiba are a very eye catching breed. Their other name is the Minowa Shiba Inu. They have their own registry, although a few Mino Shiba have showed up at NIPPO Shows in a bid to educate about the breed. No Mino Shiba are currently found outside of Japan. The key characteristic of this breed is the lack of Urajiro and the deep red colouration.
The Sanin Shiba is an odd breed. It has genetic ties to the Korean Peninsula’s dog breeds. The thing that makes this breed odd is the fur and also the face. It’s not typical of a Japanese breed. Not much is written about the breed.
Not much is written about this breed either and even finding photos of it is difficult. From the few photos I found, it seems to be another name for the Kawakami Ken, either way. This is the only photo I found of a dog being labelled as Shinshu Shiba.