Ear Today, Ear Tomorrow?!
By Estelle Sandford

There seems to be considerable confusion about the ear types on the dumbo rats. Hopefully the following article and pictures will help demystify a little for both breeders and judges and for anyone wondering what w'ear' all talking about!

Open Ears (also known as saucer ears)

These ears are flatter, rounded and open. These are the ears as per the dumbo standard for New Varieties currently although I don't think are actually that favoured by the many current breeders of dumbos. Something I've noticed with the rats with these sorts of ears is they often have slightly too short heads or the ears are set slightly too far forward, which give the appearance of the ears being more open.

Open Tulip ears

These ears are being favoured by more dumbo breeders at the moment. They appear pointed but if you gently press a finger to the back of the ear, you can see that the ears will be perfectly rounded as per the 'open ears' above. The ear is slightly furled at the top and usually indicates the ears are in the right position on the rat’s head. The two most common faults on a dumbo rat with this type of ear is the head being too long and narrow, and the ears being too narrow and pointed and tubular rather than rounded. We are proposing to change the standard to fit this ear type in the future.

Creased Ears (also known as butterfly or cauliflower ears)

The ears seem to be folded back at the top with a definite crease in the middle. You can see viewed from several angles above. It's not uncommon for a rat to only have one creased ear and the other to be one of the above types. This is seen as a fault. It doesn't seem to be difficult to breed this ear type out by crossing the rat to dumbo lines with good ears.

Other faults

This ear is folded at the top and has a definite mis-shape to them and is not rounded.

As the images will have become black and white for Pro-Rat-A, this article complete with colour images, can be found linked from the dumbo variety standard on the New Varieties page of the website. We will be submitting a new standard for the dumbo variety to the next committee meeting based on the thoughts above.