A novel staining method and the associated fluorescent dye were developed for protein analysis by capillary SDS-PAGE. The method strategy is to synthesize a pseudo-SDS dye and use it to replace some of the SDS in SDS-protein complexes so that the protein can be fluorescently detected. The pseudo-SDS dye consists of a long, straight alkyl chain connected to a negative charged fluorescent head and binds to proteins just as SDS. The number of dye molecules incorporated with a protein depends on the dye concentration relative to SDS in the sample solution, since SDS and dye bind to proteins competitively. In this work, we synthesized a series of pseudo-SDS dyes, and tested their performances for capillary SDS-PAGE. FT-16 (a fluorescein molecule linked with a hexadodecyl group) seemed to be the best among all the dyes tested. Although the numbers of dye molecules bound to proteins (and the fluorescence signals from these protein complexes) were maximized in the absence of SDS, high-quality separations were obtained when co-complexes of SDS-protein-dye were formed. The migration time correlates well with protein size even after some of the SDS in the SDS-protein complexes was replaced by the pseudo-SDS dye. Under optimized experimental conditions and using a laser-induced fluorescence detector, limits of detection of as low as 0.13 ng/mL (bovine serum albumin) and dynamic ranges over 5 orders of magnitude in which fluorescence response is proportional to the square root of analyte concentration were obtained. The method and dye were also tested for separations of real-world samples from E. coli.