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Poodles/fading color


I read about the blue poodle color.  My toy poodle   was sold to me at 8 weeks as a black poodle.  In the last year her lower back has faded to a dusty gray, her muzzle is now redbrown and under her chin is dusty gray.  White guardhairs are showing up but all the rest of her is shiny jet black.  She looks really strange - is there anyway that I can make her all black again?

Hello Joanne,
As far as the gray coloring is concerned, there is not much you can do about it.  When a Poodle fades, they don't always fade everywhere at once nor do they always fade all over the body.  The guard hairs tend to fade first, while the undercoat can stay darker.  Since it sounds like she Is a Blue, she can continue to fade for several more months and even years due to the fading process which continues well into adulthood.  Keeping her hair longer will cause her to appear darker.  When she is shaved close, she will tend to look lighter unless her skin is jet black also.
Dyeing the hair black is an option, but is not recommended due to the chemicals in the dye and the fact that it isn't made for animal hair.  If she were Red or Apricot, some people will bathe their dogs in Tea or Coffee to help stain the hair back to a reddish brown color, but there is nothing Black that can help stain a Black dog back to Black.  

As far as the red/brown around her mouth, that can be helped by changing her water to bottled water or by using water out of a filter.  Chemicals in the water mix with chemicals in the hair which cause that red/brown staining around the mouth, face, feet and genitals.  It is also what causes the tear stains and stains in the feet when the dog licks their paws.  By using filtered water or bottled water, you are reducing the chemicals that are found in city water.

I wish I could help you further.  If you have other questions about this, or other Poodle questions in general, please feel free to write me.

Thanks for using,


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Kim Wingate


I can answer general questions about Poodles. My specific area of expertise is Standard Poodles, but I will answer all questions about Poodles and dog related questions if I can. If I can't answer your question, I will be able to find information or someone who can.


I am a Dog Groomer and Dog Trainer, who has raised Standard Poodles for over 25 years. I can answer Housebreaking questions, Obedience/Training questions, Grooming questions, Breeding questions, and General Dog questions. I can also give SUGGESTIONS about general Health questions, but as I am not a Certified Vet, I cannot and will not diagnose illnesses. If you think that your dog is seriously ill, please contact your own Vet.

I am a member of the American Kennel Club.

I have worked at several Pet stores in my area, worked for a year as a Vet Tech, was an apprentice for a Dog Trainer, and have also worked at a Grooming/Showing kennel for several months. I have also raised, shown, currently train, and groom my own Standard Poodles, and have for over 25 years.

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