Blue Tick Beagle 101 (Color, traits & price guide)

Blue tick beagles

Bluetick is the coat pattern of speckled black spots on otherwise white parts giving it a blue-gray appearance. On a Beagle, these spots can range from extremely small spots of colored hair to coin-sized spots/freckles.

The ticking can either be light or strong. The lighter the ticking, the more white, and the stronger the ticking the less white you will see. In the absence of ticking (freckles), the white areas of the coat will be clear.

A blue tick pup is born without spots. These spots develop- quite dramatically- within the first weeks of growth. Ticking is typically present in the muzzle and legs but can also appear on the blaze, collar, chest, underbelly, and tip of the tail. The heaviest ticking will be on the muzzle and legs.

Most Bluetick Beagles are tricolor (black, tan, and white) but others are bicolor (black and white).

A solid color dog may carry the blue tick pattern gene but will have no visible effect. Ticking can only be visible in white trim areas.

The blue ticked Beagle is a purebred dog that should not be confused for the Bluetick Coonhound. Ticking is also a common pattern that is recognized by major kennel clubs such as AKC.

Blue tick Beagle
A ticked Beagle

Bluetick Genetics

Bluetick markings result from the interaction of genes that alter the production of color pigment. To be specific this pattern is caused by the interaction of white spotting (S-locus) and ticking (T-locus) genes. Ticking is only present in areas affected by the white spotting gene.

The spotting (S) gene prevents pigment formation in some areas causing them to appear white. Typically, the S gene affects the muzzle, front chest, throat, collar, a blaze (stripe between the eyes), underbelly, tail tip, and the legs below the elbow and hock. Small amounts of white may also appear on the ears. The distribution and size of the white marking will vary from dog to dog.

These white areas are then modified by the T-locus. The T-locus is believed to be the location of the genes responsible for ticking and roaning.

There are 3 probable variations (alleles) of the ticking gene thought to affect the amount, density, and distribution of the ticking markings. These are;

  • t (clear white spotting) has not ticking
  • T (ticking)- A ticked Beagle will have at least one copy of T (Tt). However, since this is an incomplete dominant gene variant (allele), a dog with two copies (TT) will have a heavier ticking than Tt.
  • TR (Roan ticking)- Roaning is a mixture of black and white hairs covering more areas giving the dog a bluish appearance. The bluish appearance is a result of the mixing of the hairs. A Beagle with 2 copies of TR (TRTR) will be more heavily roaned over the whole body with only a few white hairs remaining.

It is still not clear how these alleles interact but TR and T appear dominant over t responsible for clear white. In short, ticking is dominant over no ticking. How these alleles interact will determine the size, number and how rounded the ticking is. As such, any ticked Beagle will have at least one copy of T.

Temperament & Personality

The genes responsible for the Blue tick color combination do not affect the dog’s behavioral and personality traits.

Ticked Beagles are loyal, active, playful, eager to please, friendly, and sociable just like any other. They are known to build strong family dogs but can also be quite stubborn.

Blue Tick Beagle price

A Bluetick Beagle pup will cost between $1000 to $2000. The cost will depend on the location, breeder, and demand for the puppy.

Ticking Vs Merle

Heavy ticking or roaning can resemble the merle pattern. However, the ticking is confined to the white areas while merle patches are irregular, random, and have torn edges.

To Sum up

A Bluetick Beagle has a unique coloration that results from a complex interaction of several genes.

This dog is not blue but is a result of the mixing of black and white hairs which gives the dog a bluish appearance.

All in all, this is not a separate breed and the coloration does not affect any of the dog’s other traits apart from the color.

There you go, WOOF!


As a dog lover, George understands how they behave and how to best take care of them. He is also well versed with various dog breeds and loves writing about them.

Recent Posts