Put another way, ticking is a pattern of colored hair (usually extremely small spots of colored hair or coat flecks) that happens inside what would otherwise be white markings. Ticking is the color you’d see if the area hadn’t been white.
For ticking to express itself genetically, there has to be a white spotting gene. If the area would have been brown, for example, ticking is brown. If, as in the legs of a black and tan dog, the area is black, ticking will be black. Ticking isn’t present at birth but begins to develop when puppies are about to be three weeks old. Ticking is inherited as a dominant but sometimes results in a puppy being born unticked but whose breed requires it. Invariably, it always seems to be the pick puppy (read: #Murphy’s Law). Welsh Springer Spaniels can have ticking, so can Bluetick Coonhounds, Australian Cattle Dogs and German Wirehaired Pointers. If your dog is “ticked,” show us?
Image: German Wirehaired Pointers by Tobiasz Stefaniak