Marking

Roan

Some time in the second half of the 1990s, a new variety of rat made its way to the UK from Europe – this variety was called husky for its resemblance to the classic Siberian husky dog colouring, and quickly became very popular. Although in the early days they were referred to as husky, they wer eventually standardised as roan. You will occasionally still see references to husky rats, or badger-faced huskies as they were sometimes known.

The main issue for roan breeders is trying to keep the colour on them for long enough to show. Although their first coat comes through with easily visible markings, the first moult will bring a wash of white hairs, the first step of the roaning. Often by the time they’re adults, they will be almost entirely white.

Genetics: Two copies of the recessive roaning gene, and no other markings (HH roro)

NFRS Standard: A strikingly marked bi-colour variety, with roan colouration, symmetry and contrast being important impressions. Clearly distinct from existing marked varieties. Roans are born solid coloured, but from the age of about 4-6 weeks they start to exhibit roaning.
This is a steady increase in the amount of white hairs intermingled with the solid colour, starting with the face, sides and tail root on the juvenile, then working its way up to the nape of the neck with the moult. With each moult the rat becomes progressively lighter, the final effect not really complete until the rat is well into adulthood. The roan effect is most pronounced on the face, around the rump and the sides.

  • Pattern: The Roan shall have as symmetrical markings as possible. The underside should be completely white.
  • Head: A wide inverted V shaped blaze, including the whisker bed, coming as close to the eyes as possible without touching the eyes, and coning to a point between the ears. Jaw line and underside of the head must be white. Eye colour to conform to base colour standard.
  • Body: From the head, the colour runs back covering the ears and continues along the body extending down the sides. Belly to be white.
  • Tail: Unmarked tail preferred. Faults: White spots in coloured fur/ coloured spots in white fur. Brindled demarcation line. Lack of white on face and head or a completely white face or head.