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Hello everyone! I have only had a total of 4 rats, and am really looking forward to increasing the amount! However, I have seen so many people post things about all of these really interesting breeds, when I have only ever heard of the fancy's and dumbo's? I have 1 fancy and 2 dumbos, and was wondering if anyone could inform me about any other types that I could maybe introduce to my 3 girlies?:confused:
 

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I think that there's rex, double rex, and hairless...

Rex's have curly fur and whiskers, but it can come in different waviness levels and softness.

Double Rex's start going bald when they're about 4 weeks and from there can either shed virtually all of their fur so they look almost like hairless, or keep a fine coat of fuzz, or shed into some unique patterns.

The name kind of explains hairless rats, but yeah, they're hairless.

Actually I think that there's also tailless rats, though you need to keep a close eye on the temperature if you have one as a rats tail helps control it's body temperature. Tailless rats easily overheat.

Hope this helps. :)
 

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Pretty much most domestic rats are brown rats... they have various color, ear shape, tail and hair even size morphs. In the end they are all pretty much the same rats and can usually live together. Rats with pink eyes often see more poorly and are light sensitive, which may affect their personality.

The truly different rats are of different species and aren't typically found in domestication and in many cases don't live or play well with the brown rats of any morph.

It's more a matter of finding rats you like rather than collecting one of each. For example I like my rats furry and I like rats that can see better for outdoor training... so I don't adopt pink eyed or hairless rats. My wife is more afraid of darker rats, so we tend to choose ones with more white. But this has nothing to do with personality... it's just preference. 12 rats that look identical can give you the same range of personalities as 12 rats that look nothing alike. Try to choose rats based on personality and temperament then limit your selection based on your preference of color or morph. As a former tropical fish breeder, I would do certain fish for looks, but they were exhibit animals as much as different in behavior... With rats you're actually building friendships. It doesn't matter if you have 3 labs or three hounds... it's a matter of which dogs best suit your personality. If you don't like furry rats, then hairless is the way to go, for example, assuming you find a hairless rat with the personality you like. But just to have a hairless because it looks different doesn't make much sense.

Best luck.
 

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I wonder why other species of rats haven't been domesticated over the years? There are other species with considerably longer lifespans. Would be nice if someone had domesticated them. (the short lifespan is one of the worst things about being a rat owner)
 

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The Gambian Pouched Rat is "domesticated." They use them for detecting mine fields in Africa. I use the term loosely as it is domesticated in the same way a serval or a capybara (which is another type of rodent, the largest rodent). Doesn't mean they make good pets. Different rat species usually will not get along in the same way you can't expect a domesticated cat and a serval to get along. Someone is going to get killed.
 

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Black rats were domesticated at the same time as brown rats, they are arboreal and tend to need more space to play and have a slightly more complex diet. You pretty much have to find a small pup and raise it yourself, but gotchea actually raised Wilder to become a true shoulder rat until Wilder moved out into the barn with the other wild rats. I understand he still comes inside to visit from time to time... Black rats are also pack animals and can bond with their owners. I've read that some native wood rats are better than others as to becoming "domestic" Kucero has been working with a trio for some time with some fair results. As to larger US rodents the neutria has proved that it can become a decent family member, but it's basically aquatic and it helps to have a pond in the yard or a pool for it to swim in. Some folks have had some fair success with the African soft fur rats too...

It's not that there aren't other choices, but few are as easy to maintain and as personable as the brown rat. If you have a small farm with a pond a neutria might be a great choice, but if you live in the city a 12 lb rodent sloshing in and out of the tub across your carpets is going to make life harder than you might need. And a rat that prefers to hang out in trees and can jump like a squirrel might be a little to active for some folks taste. And consider how much damage a big gambian pouched rat can do in your living room if it gets bored.... big rat = big damage.

Luckily there are threads here written by folks with different types of rats which you can read and decide for yourself if they are for you.
 

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I wanted to point out that all of our pet rats are fancy, even dumbos :)

Dumbo is just an ear type, the other ear type is known as top eared or standard. From there you have fur type (standard, rex, double rex, hairless, harley, etc...) , size (normal or dwarf), then a ton of different markings and colors. Everyone still fancy.
Here are my favorite sites that list the differences in markings, colors:
http://www.afrma.org/fancyrm.htm
http://ratvarieties.com/

I think brown rats were domesticated because of how common they were and easy to get. Here is a neat article on the history:
http://www.afrma.org/historyrat.htm
 

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Pretty much what moonkissed said.

There's a bit of a misconception out there that there are different 'breeds' of fancy rats out there, which is false. All rats that you find in a pet store are 'fancy rats', or domesticated Norway (aka brown) rats. The different colours, ear types, fur types, and sizes are all just variations in genetics, but they're all the exact same species.

As a note, someone mentioned tailless rats. They are very difficult to find, but if you do I would be extremely cautious. Imo, breeding tailless rats is pretty unethical. Most people who do it are doing it for money, not for a love of the animal. A lot of tailless rats are born with really horrible disabilities that end in them having to be put to sleep. Just make sure you're not buying your rat from someone who isn't breeding for the right reasons!
 

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Originally fancy rat was a rat kept in the "fancy", an old British word for hobby. So under that very liberal definition all rats that live cooperatively with humans are "fancy rats" or rats that live in the fancy. But more common usage would tend to define fancy rats as different from wild type rats. And to be fair to those of us who keep or have kept wild rats, or part wild rats... not all brown rats that people keep would be considered 'fancy rats'.

In as much as wild rats are very uncommon as are most of the other rats we've talked about here, this post isn't significant... it's more of a footnote. But even if there are very few wild brown rats sharing their lives with humans, it's not something that should be completely overlooked. Working with wild brown rats is how this fancy got started, and it's still going on today...
 
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