You can see where the name badger comes from, with the white stripe up the centre of the face, and the eyes firmly within the coloured area, but it is only in the facial markings that the badger rat resembles an actual badger.

The badger’s other name is blazed Berkshire, which possibly gives a clearer picture of what markings the rat has – it is basically a Berkshire with blazed markings. The badger name is an old one that refers to the blaze, and you’ll still occasionally hear references to “badger-faced” rats of other varieties, where the speaker means blazed.

Baby roans can resemble badgers, as can blazed Essex, but they’re easy enough to tell apart as they grow up, or if you have a bit of information on what their parents are.

Genetics: Loads of possibilities. Common types are Hh, HHre, or HHe (standard Berkshires) or similar plus modifiers. The chinchilla white spotting gene also gives blazed rats, and on non-agouti rats these simply look normally coloured rather than chinchillated (aa CsCs).

NFRS standard: As much of the underside of the rat as possible to be white, including belly, chest, throat and underside of the legs, the white not to extend up the sides of the body. Back feet to be white to the ankle, forelegs to be white to the elbow. Tail to be white to half its length. The body colour shall conform to a recognised colour variety. The white area shall be pure and devoid of any colour or staining. The defining feature of this variety is the blaze. This is to be a wedge shaped symmetrical blaze of white starting at the nose and extending up the face to the forehead. The blaze to cover the whisker bed and taper to a fine point midway between the eyes and the ears. Markings not to extend onto the cheeks or the eyes.