If you are technical and as a judge you have two dogs that are virtually identical and need to nit pick… ticking IS a fault.
It makes the white NOT clear...
Yes it can be looked down upon in the ring.
So can a bad coat.
So can bad movement.
A fault need to be assessed to the degree of it's severity.
I don't consider the ticking that big of a deal...
but again, if it comes down to nit picking... you have to have someway to make the choice. Rarely could I see that happening, but it could.
BTW.... I can't stand that ticking... but I do have some dogs with it... even my BENNY had some tick spots in his gorgeous white neck... but not where anyone would notice in the show ring... but they annoyed me.
His grandson, CHARLIE, also has some in the neck.... this time around, I am used to them and they don't bother me so much.
I prefer my white crisp and clear with nothing "muddying up" it's appearance.... but as my kids say you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!
I do agree with Pat... there are some lines in which the freckled skin is very prevalent... and some that ticking is very prevalent.