How to Chalk Your Dog

Please note: This tutorial is intended for dogs with white or light coloured legs that has been bathed and dried. 

Preparing the Coat

I like Clean Start and After U Bathe to prepare the coat for chalking, however Spectrum One Shampoo and Conditioner work great on this coat type as well.

Start with clean, damp coat and style dry the leg using a Breezy Brush Oval medium (green) pad 16mm pin, and a buttercomb to prep the coat for chalking.

Next, mist the legs lightly with Pro Line Self Rinse Plus. You do not need to get it sopping wet (the dog is already clean), this is just to add a little extra layer for the chalk to stick to.

Applying the Base

Using Colesteral, dispense about  a dime to a quarter sized amount per leg. (the smaller amount on a smaller dog and the larger amount on a larger dog).

Emulsify the Colestral by rubbing your hands together and then work through the coat on the dog’s leg.  You want to get the Colestral distributed throughout all of the leg coat.  You do not want it to just sit on top of the leg hair.  When applied correctly, the chalk will not only whiten and brighten, it also builds body from the root.

Once you have the Colestral worked into the coat at the root, take your Breezy brush, and brush the leg again making sure that the hair standing up from and out from the leg. You want the hair standing up so that there is room for the chalk to get in there and build body. Doing this also helps the chalk create volume for you.

Applying the Chalk

Now that the leg has Colestral in it and has been brushed you can pick up quite a generous amount of White Ice Chalk on your bristle chalk brush. Work the chalk through the hair, going up against the grain of the hair. If there are areas of the dog that the hair is thin, really concentrate on those areas. Most dogs have an area on the inside of their front leg where the coat is thinner and likes to lay down flat.  This can make your dog look quite pigeon toed or like it’s toeing out in the ring, so that’s an important area to look at. Use your pin brush and make sure the hair is standing right up apply some extra chalk there.

Once all four legs are completely chalked let your dog sit for about 15 minutes. This will help the chalk settle in between the individual hairs and build volume. If you can let your dog shake out the excess chalk while it is drying in a clean ex-pen, a clean crate or if you have more trimming to do they can stay on the table (Note: I like them to be in a pen so they can relax.  Regardless of what you let them do at this point it’s important that you let them dry.

Once you put your dog back on the table you can pat out some of the excess chalk with your hand.  Next step is to brush out the excess chalk with a clean (just used for this purpose) bristle brush such as the Andreas brush.

Andreas Brushes

If you think there is still excess chalk in the coat you can use a hand held or Xtreme dryer on low and blow out the excess.  You aren’t blowing out all of the chalk, you are simply mimicking the act of your dog shaking to make sure that the chalk does not shake out while you are in the ring.

As a last check put your dog on the ground and ask them to shake.  If excess chalk does fly out repeat the last process.

Finishing Touches

Now you are ready to style the legs with a pin brush and comb to get the desired look. Finish with some Thick N Thicker Spray and you have chalked leg perfection!  You can also apply other finishing touches and you are ready for the ring. 

It is recommended to wash the chalk out after each show on terrier breeds.  On double coated breeds leaving the chalk in the legs, rough and face can help build body over the course of the dog show weekend and washing it out daily is not recommended.  You should wash the chalk and other products should be washed out at the end of a dog show weekend. 

Pro tip: You can use cholesterol to not only hold the chalk in place but also to condition the coat once the chalk is removed.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial on chalking your dog’s legs.  If you have any questions please email me at answers@chrissystems.com.

Products Used

  • Pro Line Self-rinse Plus
  • Colesteral
  • White Ice Chalk
  • Powder chalk Brush
  • Breezy Brush Oval medium (green) pad 16mm
  • Andreas brush
  • Buttercomb

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