The Dumbo rat, also known as the fancy rat, is a domesticated subclass of the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), mostly known as a type of pet rat. The history of this kind of rodent lays back in the 18th – 19th centuries, and it is strongly connected to the activity of catching rats, activity developed by the so called rat-catchers. During this period of time, rat-catchers trapped these rodents and they either killed them or sold them as participants in bloodsports. This kind of practice was very common until the beginning of the twentieth century, and such sport could be described as a pit filled with rats and dogs that must kill them all in the shortest time. It is also mentioned the fact that the strange colored rats were used in breeding activities, and their results were being sold as pets. Two names are directly connected to the apparition of the fancy rat: Jack Black (Queen Victoria’s rat-catcher) and Jimmy Shaw (the manager of one of the largest and most profitable sports houses in London).
Taking Dumbo rats or fancy rats as pets firstly began in 1901, when Mary Douglas brought her pet rats to an exhibition taking place at the National Mouse Club n Aylesbury.
Her visit was the starting point of a hobby which disappeared after Mary’s death and revived in the last decade of the 70s, namely in 1976 when the English National Fancy Rat Society was founded. Nowadays, fancy rats are still taken as pets, and the more and more people choose them as companions.
Now, we are wondering how these rats look like. A Dumbo rat comes in a combination of colors that are not so strange. We can see black fancy rats, curly haired, white, blue, etc. We will also observe that their eye color differs and it is much influenced by its coat color. So, we can have fancy rats that have blue-colored eyes or red-colored eyes.
In what concerns their temperament, Dumbo rats are quite docile and very playful. They are curious and love to explore the surroundings. When you play with them, make sure that the activity is not monotonous; rats love to explore, so make sure they have always new things to explore. Although they are rats, it is impossible not to fall in love with this breed. Just a look and you’ll get caught! A fancy rat has huge ears for its head, whiskers all around and irresistible cheeks. Their eyes are large and expressive, always having the color of their coat and always looking for attention.
In few words, a Dumbo is always a great choice for pet. They have a temperament and a behaviour that are easy manageable. We mustn’t forget the cuteness they are capable of only by looking at you with their eyes. If you are a rat lover, then you know a Dumbo is perfect for your home.