Black - Ticked
called
"BLUE"
AT BIRTH

This picture was taken 30 minutes after the last pup was whelped.  
Notice the only pigment (color) visible are the facial markings and
one pup has a spot on the loin area.  

With the exception of any facial markings or body spots, ACD's are
born white (due to the extreme pie bald gene, "s^w").  Body spots
are due to the piebald gene, "s^p".  They start to color out at
around 3 weeks of age.  Some color out a little sooner, some a
little later.  This coloring continues sometimes until the puppy is
past 6 months old.  Some owners have said their ACD grew darker
or lighter until they were past 6 years of age.
TICKED - BLACK WITH TAN POINTS






The color of a dog, any breed, is not just a simple one -- there are many genes involved in the makeup of the
color of the coat.  

The offspring receives one copy from the sire and one copy from the dam.  It is important to know what genes
are being carried and what are being expressed, not only for color -- but for possible genetic defects.   

The genes involved in a "ticked-black/tan" ACD and "ticked-black" ASTCD are (I will talk about what
could be present on another page):
E Locus : E -- extension of eumelanin or phaeomelanin in coat
B Locus : B -- black pigment, acting only on eumelanin (black/brown)
D Locus : D -- full color, not dilute
C Locus : C -- full color, not dilute
A Locus : a^t -- tan points (hidden in an ASTCD)
K Locus : k -- non dominant, non-brindle, allows A Locus alleles to be expressed (ASTCD are K/K or K/k)
T Locus : T -- ticked (pigmented hairs in an otherwise white coat)
S Locus : s^w -- extreme white; if the dog also has body spots, it is said that he is also s^p -- piebald
G Locus : g -- non-graying
M Locus : m -- non-merle (ACD's are not merled)

*NOTE: ASTCD are K/K or K/k -- meaning the sable, saddle and tan points are hidden; breeding a
ticked-black ASTCD to a ticked-sable ASTCD will produce puppies that carry the sable and/or tan point gene.  
This is why tan pointed ticked-black puppys show up in a litter.  If a person doesn't want to breed a litter of
ASTCD that produce tan points --- it's simple: do not breed blue to red; select for blue's that - and breed only
to blue's that - do not produce tan points (he would be K/K).  Currently, there isn't a DNA test available to test
for dominant "K".  

A typical
"ticked-black/tan" ACD may have a genotype that looked like this:
E/E B/B D/D C/C a^t/a^t k/k T/T s^w/s^w g/g m/m
If he has body spots --- s^p/s^w, instead of s^w/s^w

A typical
"ticked-black" ASTCD may have a genotype that looked like this:
E/E B/B D/D C/C a^t/a^t K/K T/T s^w/s^w g/g m/m
If he has body spots --- s^p/s^w, instead of s^w/s^w

The first letter is the gene that is expressed (what you can see) and the second letter indicates the carried
(what you can not see) gene.  This carried gene is not always expressed.  

Two alleles that are alike are said to be "homozygous" (ex. B/B) and two that are not alike are said to be
heterozygous (ex. B/b).  If a letter is capitalized, this means it is dominant to the second gene in the series.  
Example: B/b -- B is dominant to b; and therefore is expressed and the "b" is carried (and could be passed to
future offspring and can be carried for many generations).

The E/E (one copy from the sire and one copy from the dam) means the eumelanin (black) is extended
throughout the coat.

The B/B means that eumelanin has been produced and the pigment would be black (including nose, eye rims
and lips).  I will talk about the diluted form later.

The D/D means the color is full color and not diluted.  I will talk about the diluted form later.     

The C/C means the color is full color and not diluted.  I will talk about the diluted form later.

The a^t/a^t (found on the A Locus) means the tan points are expressed.

The k/k means this is recessive black, located on the K Locus and when in the homozgyous recessive form
allows the alleles at the A Locus to be expressed; like the tan points (a^t/a^t).

ASTCD are K/K or K/k -- meaning the sable, saddle and tan points are hidden; breeding a ticked-black
ASTCD to a ticked-sable ASTCD will produce puppies that carry the sable and/or tan point gene.  This is why
tan pointed ticked-black puppys show up in a litter.  If a person doesn't want to breed a litter of ASTCD that
produce tan points --- it's simple: do not breed blue to red; select for blue's that - and breed only to blue's that
- do not produce tan points (he would be K/K).  Currently, there isn't a DNA test available to test for dominant
"K".  

The T/T means the coat is ticked, mottled or roaned.  This is why the ACD colors out approximately 3 weeks
after whelping.  This gene acts in conjunction with the spotting gene (S Locus).

The s^w/s^w means extreme white coat.  This is the reason why the ACD is borned snow white.  When in
conjunction with the ticking gene, the pigmented color starts to appear as the puppy ages.

The s^p/s^w means piebald (body spots) in conjunction with extreme white.


An ACD that is called "blue", is a little misleading.  The coloration is really not
blue, but a ticked, mottled or roan coat, with a black base color.  This pattern
gives the appearance of being "blue".  If the dog were actually "blue", he
would be a genetically black dog that has been diluted to a grayish or blue
color by the homozygous recessive allelic pair "d/d".

As to not create confusion, the color that is commonly referred to as "blue",
will be called "ticked-black/tan" for this site.