What Can I Use to Whiten the Hair on an Old English Sheep Dog's Face?

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Old English sheepdogs are known to have facial hair staining.
Old English sheepdogs are known to have facial hair staining. (Image: DTP/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

It is common for Old English sheepdogs to have white hair throughout most of their facial area and head. Staining of the hair, or fur, is always an issue on dogs with light-colored hair. There are certain products on the market designed to remove dog fur stains, with many of them concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. Many dog groomers charge for this extra hair whitening, but you can save money by whitening the hair at home.

Old English Sheepdogs

Classified as herders by the American Kennel Club, the Old English sheepdog is a friendly, fun-loving dog, even though they are a fairly large breed, averaging 60 to 100 pounds. Common coloring for Old English sheepdogs includes blue, gray and white. Because they have a lot of hair, and fine hair at that, these dogs require routine grooming to maintain a clean and clutter-free appearance.

Stain Causes

Facial hair stains occur under the eyes, as a result of tear stains and discharges from the dog's eyes, and around the muzzle, commonly the result of food stains and whatever messes the dog decides to entertain themselves with. Another cause of hair staining is ear infections, which may cause excess discharges, causing stains.

Whitening Products

Dog facial hair whiteners are commonly enzyme cleaners or bleaching agents. If whitening near the dog's eyes, use a commercial tear stain remover, because some bleaching agents may be too harsh, irritating the sheepdog's eyes. When cleaning around the muzzle area, a human hair bleaching agent is highly effective, especially a gel-type, such as those manufactured by Wella, Redken or Quick Blue. Gel bleaching agents are gentler than other forms.

The Whitening Process

Comb out the stained area with a fine dog comb, being careful to be gentle and not cause any unnecessary hair pulling. This helps break up the stain by removing any solid particles.

Wet the area and apply the product according to the manufacturer's directions. A tooth brush comes in handy to gently scrub the area to remove the stain. When the dog's facial hair is sufficiently whitened, rinse it thoroughly, so no traces of product remain in the dog's hair.

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