In the meantime, I have been trying to take a picture of Koji every week for the 52 Weeks for Dogs group on flickr (and I've already missed one week!) which is what I post on here from time to time.
Before I leave, though, DID YOU KNOW that Shibas actually are allowed to have three different types of curl? Most people are only used to two of them. The types of tail allowed in the breed are the Sickle, the Single Curl, and the Double Curl.
Japanese Dogs - Chiba Michiko
"Tail is thick and powerful and is carried over the back in a sickle or curled position. A loose single curl or sickle tail pointing vigorously toward the neck and nearly parallel to the back is preferred. A double curl or sickle tail pointing upward is acceptable. In length the tail reaches nearly to the hock joint when extended. Tail is set high."
Some real-life examples of each of the tails;
Koji - Sickle Tail
Yuki-san - Single Curl
Jiro - Double Curl
While all three types of tail are accepted and do not indicate a mix of the breed, the double and single curl seem to be the most popular and the types of tail that are most commonly seen. I've had so many people think Koji was some sort of mix or not sure what kind of breed he was, even those familiar with Shibas, all because of his tail. Most of these people have never even realized that types other than a tight curl are in fact acceptable in the breed. The more you know!