AFRMA FANCY RATS
The following is a brief description of the rat markings as recognized by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association. For complete details of these Standards including points, faults, and disqualifications, please refer to the AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Note: The pictures on this page are not meant to be true representatives of the animal’s color. Because of differences in monitors (CRT/LCD) and how the monitor is adjusted, the colors may be different. Seeing in person is always best.
ENGLISH IRISH - White equilateral triangle on chest with front feet white and back feet
white to half their length. The triangle on chest to be of good size, clear and devoid of
brindling, not to extend in a streak down the belly but occupying all the space between the front
legs. The body color shall conform to a recognized color. (English, N.F.R.S.)
Black English Irish rat owned and bred by Gina Hendricks. Photo ©1996 Craig Robbins.
IRISH - Irish rats may be shown in any recognized color. The top color is to be judged as to the
respective color. Distinctive markings are the white underside, with four white feet and a white tail
tip. The under marking should be a pure clean white, of moderate size and as even in shape as possible,
not extending onto the legs, sides, or chest. The white feet should resemble the stops on a Dutch
rabbit. The tail should be colored for most of its length, with a white tip of no more than one-fourth
of its total length.
Black Irish rat owned by RoseAnn Rubino. Photo ©1990 Larry Ferris.
BERKSHIRE - Berkshire rats may be shown in any recognized color. The top color is to be judged as
to the recognized color. Distinctive markings are the colored top with a completely white belly and white feet and tail, with a small white spot between the ears. There should be an even line between the top and
bottom color. The white markings should be a pure clean white.
Chinchilla Berkshire rat, photo ©1999 Craig Robbins.
ESSEX - To be recognized in any standard color, remembering that the effect of the gene responsible is to lighten the top color. The darkest area is along the spine, becoming less intense down the sides of the animal. The gradual fading of color continues onto the belly which is off white, with no spotting of darker color. When viewed from above, the fading effect should be symmetrical, having no clear demarcation. The fading effect also to be seen on the legs so that the feet are also off white. There should be no obvious patches of contrasting color. Pied tails not to be penalized. A head spot is essential; this must be well defined, centrally placed on the forehead and symmetrical. Genetics: Unproven lethal dominant gene on H locus tentatively named Hro * (N.F.R.S.; accepted 4-30-05)Essex rat owned and bred by Mayumi Anderson. Photo ©2005 Craig Robbins.
VARIEGATED - Variegated rats to be shown in any recognized color and are similar to Hooded
rats but instead of a spine marking, will have patches and flecks of color on the back side. The
head and shoulders to be solid like those of a Hooded rat with a white spot/star on the
forehead which should be centrally placed, round or oval in shape, and no bigger than the rat’s
eye. The variegation (patches and flecks of color) to evenly cover the rest of the white body from
the shoulders to the tail including the sides and tail. Underside (including belly, chest, and throat)
to be white, devoid of creamy tinge or staining. (Rev. 8-19-06)
Black Variegated rat owned and bred by Karen Robbins. Photo ©1996 Craig Robbins.
Read the articles on “Variegated X Self = Berkshire, not Variegated” and
“Difference Between Dalmatian and Variegated Rats”.
BLAZE - Blazed rats may be shown only in Berkshire or Variegated classes in any recognized color. A
wedge shaped blaze of white should run from muzzle to ears including the whisker beds, tapering to a fine
point at the ears. Other markings as for respective pattern.
Chocolate Odd-Eye Blaze Berkshire rat owned and bred by Helen Pembrook. Photo ©1998 Craig Robbins.
DALMATIAN - Dalmatian rats may be shown in any recognized color. Markings will be similar
to the Variegated mice with color splashes/spots on a white background, and free from any solid
clear-cut markings. The splashes should be numerous and ragged in outline, but approximately equal
in size, and well distributed over the entire body.
Silver Black Dalmatian rat owned and bred by Geri Hauser. Photo ©1996 Craig Robbins.
Read the article on “Difference Between Dalmatian and Variegated Rats”.
HOODED - Hooded rats may be shown in any recognized color. The sides, legs, and feet should
be a pure clean white, free from spots or brindling. The hood should cover the head, neck, and shoulders
without a break, showing no white on the throat or chin, and should run in an even line around the
body. The spine marking should extend in an unbroken line from the hood to the tail, be of moderate
width, and be free of ragged edges or brindling. The tail should be colored at the base, then white
to the end.
Lilac Hooded rat (left, daughter) owned and bred by Nancy Ferris. Lilac Hooded rat (right, father) owned by Nichole Royer. Photo ©1998 Craig Robbins.
Read the article on Hooded.
BAREBACK - Bareback rats may be shown in any recognized color and will have markings like the
Hooded rat but without a spine marking. The back, sides, legs, and feet should be a pure, clean white,
free from spots or brindling. The hood should cover the head, neck, and shoulders without a break,
showing no white on top of head, throat, or chin, and should run in an even line around the body. (Karla
Barber – Emerald Hill)
Cinnamon Bareback rat owned and bred by Karen Robbins. Photo ©1997 Craig Robbins.
CAPPED - Capped rats may be shown in any recognized color. The body should be a pure clean
white, free from spots or brindling, with a colored head. The color should be confined to the head
area only, not appearing on the throat area. The cap should be free of ragged edges or brindling,
follow the line of the lower jawbone in an even line and not extend past the ears.
Black Capped rat owned and bred by Karen Robbins. Photo ©1995 Craig Robbins.
MASKED - Masked rats may be shown in any recognized color. The body is to be a pure, clean
white, free from spots or brindling. A colored mask to cover the face, to include just around the
eyes and above the nose, not to extend down the sides of the face onto the jowls or under the chin.
(Leah Soverns – The Rat Room) [Standardized November 15, 1992]
Black Masked rats owned by Leah Soverns. Photo ©1992 AFRMA.
For complete details of the Standards including points, faults, eliminations, and disqualifications, please refer to the AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Purchase the AFRMA Official Color Standards Rat book.
Updated August 12, 2013
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