My Toy Giraffe - Groomer to Groomer

Queen of Color

My Toy Giraffe

My Toy Giraffe

By Dawn Omboy

I have just returned from a trip to Pooch Styles Pet Grooming in District Heights, Maryland where I met with the owner of Pooch Styles, Kyonna Brown, and her staff for a fun filled day of Creative Styling. Kyonna has some very enthusiastic and trusting clients who happily entrusted their fur kids to us for a “who knows what might happen kind of day”. They would certainly be on the top of my favorite client list!

My demo dog for today is this cute little poodle mix named DOG (pronounced Dee–Oh–Gee). The plan for DOG today was to turn him into a cute little toy giraffe, similar to one his owner had seen somewhere on Facebook. DOG had been colored in the past and still had some old color in his tail that would work perfectly into today’s groom and dye job.

fig 1 of toy poodle as a giraffeFig 1) We clipped his body down with a 7f blade, leaving his legs so they later could be shaped. A crest was also left to create a mane that would go from halfway on his crown down to his withers.

Fig 2) In the next step I used a small paintbrush and cholesterol to outline the random blocky pattern on his body. The cholesterol does two things, it works to outline your pattern and to protect areas from getting color where you do not want it to be.

We did some color mixing to come up with the two shades of brown. Brown can be made by mixing a primary with its complimentary color; red and green, purple and yellow, blue and orange. I wanted more orange for the body spots so I used a mixture of one part navy blue and four parts orange. For the mane and feet I used a mixture of even parts red and green for a darker brown that I then added to my first brown mixture. 


Fig 3) With the outline done I could use a bigger paintbrush to fill in the blocky pattern of the giraffe body with my orange/brown dye mixture.

Fig 4) Next, the darker mixture was used on his mane, and lastly his feet. I let the dye stand on his coat for only about 25 minutes before rinsing the color off and then bathing and drying the little guy.

figures 2 - 4 of toy poodle as a giraffe

Once dry, I went back over him with a blade to smooth his coat on his jacket out, then shaped his legs with scissors, leaving them fuller at the bottoms.

You can create the horns by leaving the hair longer on the back part of the crown in front of the occipital point and putting two banded ponytails there.

Whenever you are doing something like this you will want to try to time yourself so you know how to accurately price it out for your client. For my own salon I purchased a time clock from Sam’s Club and use this to monitor time on many of the dogs we groom in the salon. This helps us to better explain our pricing structure on, not only the creative grooms we do, but the regular groom or bath dogs as well. Clock in your dog and only charge for all, actual hands on time. When doing a creative groom I also add in the cost of products used.

This groom will certainly get some attention, as you can see it looks like an adorable stuffed animal —no batteries needed! And the bonus is that it is an easy maintenance style for your client. The pattern should hold up through the next haircut four weeks out, after that you can re–dye or pick a new design. ✂

Making the World more Colorful, one dog at a time… Queen of Color.
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