Two pet rats have achieved a world record by jumping through hoops and dishing out high-fives.

Frankie and Freddie, who are nearly two-years-old, have made it into the Guinness World Record book for 2021.

Frankie set the record for the most high fives by a rat in 30 seconds - where he gave out 28 high-fives. Freddie also set the record for most hoops jumped by a rat in 30 seconds - where he made eight hoops.

Their owner, Luke Roberts, 29, from North Watford admitted that he initially didn't want a pet rat because he "couldn't stand the tail".

Watford Observer:

Frankie (left) and Freddie (right) with their Guinness World Record certificates. Credit: Luke Roberts

But said after visiting his partner's aunt's house who also had pet rats he decided he wanted his own. He said he loved the animal's personality and intelligence.

The NHS project manager said he decided to train Frankie and Freddie when they were three months old after watching videos online of rats playing basketball.

He added: "It was like a bonding exercise with them. Training small animals which people think are gross can help change public perception of them.

"You can turn it into something funny and inspiring."

Watford Observer:

Freddie set a record by jumping through eight hoops within thirty seconds. Credit: Luke Roberts

Mr Roberts said it was the perception that rats have which gave him the motivation to set a world record.

He added: "Everyone thinks they're sewer dwelling monsters that spread the plague but in reality pet rats are really clean, intelligent and affectionate.

"People do not associate those connotations with rats.

Watford Observer:

Freddie (left) and Frankie. Credit: Luke Roberts

"I wish people would give them more of a chance."

Mr Roberts said it took around three to four weeks to train them and said he was "proud" of Frankie and Freddie for setting two records.

Frankie set his record on October 5 last year and Freddie set his on January 5 this year.

He added: "This is the first record of its kind for rats. We deliberately chose simple tricks to encourage other people to beat us.

Watford Observer:

Frankie in a top hat and bow tie. Credit: Luke Roberts

"We hope people will decide to give rats a chance, buy them and enjoy them."

Mr Roberts said he now has a new rat called Ronnie, who he hopes to train and also set a record with in the future. He is currently training Ronnie to walk on his hind legs.

He added: "It is early days and it is quite complex but hopefully he could set a record of longest distance on his hind legs."