Back In Black - Groomer to Groomer

Back In Black

By Dawn Omboy

Chewy the miniature Poodle is one of my favorite little client dogs, he has been with me for almost 5 years now and his pet parents really like his funky, specially tailored hair style. I modify this trim in many ways and it’s all good as long as he is big and fluffy up front, sort of like a modified Scandinavian trim with a top knot, sometimes even a Mohawk but with a teddy type face.

Chewy was really black as a youngster and has faded out a good bit over the years. I have done bright color designs on him by lifting his natural color first then adding bright color pigments back into his coat. This time however, I had something very different in mind for Chewy, who was my dog model for a shoot with Melissa Verplank for the online lessons from

Not all creative styling is about vibrant color or exempt grooming. It can be to simply enhance or rejuvenate the color of the dog and make him look young again, much the same as we do for ourselves.

Chewy’s color rejuvenation makeover begins with mixing the two components found in the box of most hair dye for dogs. The tube contains the pigment and the bottle contains the developing cream or activator that will make this product work when mixed together.


Fig 1) As the color begins to process, you will see it turn a rich black right before your eyes. When applying color such as this, I like to start at the bottom and work my way up. I will then hold up the hair on the leg with my hand and release a small amount at a time as I am using a line brushing technique to insure even coverage of the coat.

When you are doing all over color you do not have to worry about wrapping the coat since it will all be the same color when you finish. I did however leave a portion of this dog’s back the natural color so I would have options for other designs to go along with his newly enhanced black.

Fig 2) Make sure to wear gloves and it is best to work with an assistant to help with holding the dog through the coloring process. Also make sure you have more dye on-hand than you think you are going to need.

Let the dog relax for 20 minutes or so as the color is processing in an area where you can keep watch over him. Then you will want to thoroughly rinse, then shampoo twice to make sure there will be no color bleeding when the dog goes home.

Dry and style according to the client’s wishes and watch them light up when they see the younger looking pup they love! ✂

Making the World more Colorful, one dog at a time…

Queen of Color

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