Especially if you're choosing a puppy you plan to show, it's important your puppy adhere to breed standards. It can be hard to tell how a puppy will develop as it grows, but its parents will give you an idea of what the puppy will look like as an adult. A partial summary of AKC standards for Shiba Inus includes:
Size: Males stand 14.5-16.5" at the withers and weigh about 23 lbs. Females stand 13.5-15.5" and weigh about 17 lbs. Head: Shibas should have a confident gaze with dark brown irises rimmed with black. The forehead is broad, flat, and slightly furrowed, and the muzzle's bridge is straight. There should be no over- or underbite in the teeth. Body: The back is level from the base of the neck to the tail. The body is well-muscled, with a chest depth (from withers to lowest point of the sternum) of half or slightly less than the dog's height from withers to the ground. The tail should have a single, not a double, curl. Coat: the only acceptable colors are red, sesame, or black. The outer coat is stiff and straight, while the undercoat is soft and thick. Dogs with over or underbites, males over 16.5" or under 14.5", and females over 15.5" or under 13.5" are disqualified from showing.