Grooming By Coat Color

No matter the coat type, regular grooming and a spectrum of products preserve your dog's natural shade.

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Bringing out the best in your dog's coat color is so much more than black-and-white. Dogs' glorious coats come in a rainbow of colors, shades and patters. From solid to spots, our companions can be roan, ticked, tricolored, harlequin, merle and more. With such a vast variety of hair colors and textures to tackle, it can be confusing to know how to bring out the best in each individual dog.

Let's start at the beginning. The hair that covers the bodies of canines is made up of a protein called keratin that grows from follicles in the skin. Genetics, good health and proper nutrition are the building blocks of a beautiful hair coat. The coat's color is a function of melanin pigmentation which can be found deep inside the hair shaft. The color of the coat is a genetic trait, and although color can be enhanced and optimized by products and techniques, the dog's inherent color cannot be altered without the use of chemical dyes. The use of such dyes is prohibited in the show ring. By the time we see the hair growing on the dog, the cells that make it up are dead. The generic makeup and overall health of the dog work together to produce the coat we groom. This being said, it is possible to maximize the dog's color with some tried-and-true grooming techniques.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2007 issue of DOG WORLD today, or subscribe to receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!

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