Guinea pigs may not be spoken about as often as dogs or cats, but trust us, they make the perfect pets. While the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA) recognizes 13 different breeds, several other guinea pigs exist and are sought after for their rarity. If you’re considering adopting one or your curiosity has been sparked, we have all you need to know.
A Baldwin should live indoors, not be exposed to direct sunlight, and have a warm blanket nearby at all times. This sweet ball of fur craves attention and easily attracts it with its curious personality and playful behavior.
If you’re considering adopting one, make sure you set aside time every day to brush its beautiful coat. This albino breed has a white coat with brown or black coloring on its ears, feet, and nose. When a Himalayan is put in direct sunlight or in hot weather, their dark spots fade.
The soft, thick fur needs dedicated grooming time and an occasional trim. The Skinny is part of the hairless guinea pigs, despite having a few furry spots on its back, legs, and feet.
What breed of guinea pig is the friendliest?
Teddy guinea pigs are very popular and are often thought of as the friendliest guinea pig breed with people, although they can sometimes have issues sharing a cage with another pig.
Which guinea pig breed is smartest?
The crested guinea pig is the rarest and the smartest breed of a guinea pig. It’s also shyer than the rest of its kind.
How can you tell what breed your guinea pig is?
The main way to identify a guinea pigs breed is to note its fur length to start. There are three types on guinea pig fur length – Longhaired, shorthaired and no haired. Next check the texture of the guinea pigs fur, is it silky smooth to the touch or more bunched up into little rosettes? it could even be both!
There are several guinea pig varieties available. They come in a range of colors and hair types. Here’s a brief description of the most common varieties.
Skinny Pigs are difficult to look after properly, requiring heated accommodation and a high energy diet. The hairless guinea pig breeds are either naked, or have a smattering of fur on their faces and their feet.
Although experienced owners are able to care for hairless guinea pigs properly, they are not recommended for beginners. It’s one of those pet breeding questions you meet all too often (in the case of Pugs in the dog world, for example). Their fur sprouts in multiple directions, and if allowed to grow out without trimming (which is not recommended) it would be so long that the poor guinea pig would have trouble moving around, and its face would be covered.
With regular trimming, the hair juts from the guinea pig’s forehead, giving it a unicorn-like appearance. Peruvian guinea pigs‘ coats require lots of grooming – that’s the message to take away here. the hairs are actually hollow, which makes them slightly reflective and can also alter the color of the guinea pig.
The Satin guinea pig breed is controversial due to inherent health problems. Silkie Guinea Pigs are a long-haired breed that requires regular trimming and/or grooming in order to keep it neat and tidy.
When most people think of guinea pigs, they think of guinea pigs. They have no idea there are different types of these adorable little rodents, but, in fact, there are 13 different guinea pig breeds in total.
Image Credit: Pixabay Peruvians have long, wavy hair that makes them look like they spend their spare time fronting a Flock of Seagulls cover band. However, theyre also generally considered the most gentle and easygoing of all the guinea pig breeds, making them an excellent option for families with small children.
Image Credit: Pernille Westh, Shuttershock Coronets have long, flowing manes that grow backward down their bodies. These rodents are extremely sweet and lovable, and they will constantly demand attention from their owners (which gives you plenty of opportunities to groom that fur). Image Credit: stronytwoichmarzen, PixabayThis Swedish breed boasts a long, curly coat that gives it a mop-like appearance (and you can set it loose on your wood floors to have your very own low-tech Roomba).
These animals arent normally found outside of Sweden, and they fare poorly in warmer climates due to all that hair. Image Credit: Jolly-Sunshine, PixabayThe Rex looks more like a chinchilla than a guinea pig, as it has short, wool-like fur thats much easier to manage than some of the long-haired breeds shown here. Image Credit: LeeSensei, ShutterstockThe Baldwin is born with a full head of hair, but they gradually shed it over time until just a few whiskers on their face remain.
Image Credit: stronytwoichmarzen, PixabayThe Alpaca s fur isnt long, but its extremely dense and coarse. These rodents can live up to 8 years, which gives you lots of time with your pet but also means youll be spending a considerable amount of your life brushing a guinea pig. Image Credit: joanna wnuk, Shutterstock Texels are a mix between Shelties and Rexes, and they have dense, matted fur that can be a beast to maintain.
Still, its hard to resist bringing home a Baldwin and telling your kids you bought them a baby hippo, isnt it?
11 Guinea Pig Breeds to Know As you begin to browse guinea pigs at your local pet store, animal shelter or cavy breeder, you’ll soon discover you have options! Just like cats or dogs, guinea pigs come in several breeds with varying physical features, personality traits and care needs. The American Cavy Breeders Association identifies 13 breeds. The British Cavy Council names over 50 breeds — thanks to the many color variations — of guinea pigs!
Abyssinian guinea pigs are extremely popular and often chosen for their abundant energy (perfect for kids who want to play with them often) and smarts. If you enjoy working with animal rescue groups or rehabbing ill pets, this delicate breed might just cross your path.
This breed has the same loving personality, fur type and color patterns as an American, however, they have been bred for extra shine in their coats. These pigs are best for households with older, responsible children and adults who will manage grooming tasks and habitat maintenance regularly. Here’s a guinea pig checklist that details all the must-haves to keep your pet happy and healthy including tips on choosing a habitat, bedding, food and accessories.
Abyssinian guinea pigs are instantly recognizable for their peculiar fur. Their hair grows in rosettes, giving them an extraordinary, spiky and ridged outline. Abyssinian guinea pigs come in various colors and color combinations.
Most of the guinea pigs you see in pet stores and other people’s homes are of the American breed. Their distinguishing feature is short, smooth hair. Colorwise, they come in all sorts of combinations. Their short coats make them very low-maintenance and easy to keep.If entering an American guinea pig in a show, it has to adhere to one of the 19 accepted color specifications, and must have a short, smooth coat.
Coronet guinea pigs are very similar to Silkies, having very long, smooth hair. The feature that distinguishes them from Silkies is a feature that looks like a crown in the centre of their foreheads. This is an area of fur radiating out from a central point, often at odds with the rest of their fur and forming ridges.
Skinny Pigs – Hairless Guinea Pigs
These varieties are the exception to the rule that says ‘All GPs are easy to look after’. Skinny Pigs are difficult to look after properly, requiring heated accommodation and a high energy diet. They are also very susceptible to infection.The hairless guinea pig breeds are either naked, or have a smattering of fur on their faces and their feet. They are not hypoallergenic, in spite of their hairlessness.Although experienced owners are able to care for hairless guinea pigs properly, they are not recommended for beginners. The varieties are controversial too, as their lack of fur makes them susceptible to health problems. So, should they actually be bred at all? It’s one of those pet breeding questions you meet all too often (in the case of Pugs in the dog world, for example).
Peruvian guinea pigs are a common smooth, long-haired variety. Their fur sprouts in multiple directions, and if allowed to grow out without trimming (which is not recommended) it would be so long that the poor guinea pig would have trouble moving around, and its face would be covered. With regular trimming, the hair juts from the guinea pig’s forehead, giving it a unicorn-like appearance. You may have spotted GPs of this type without realizing they require constant haircuts.Peruvian guinea pigs‘ coats require lots of grooming – that’s the message to take away here. They come in different color varieties.
These guinea pigs are named for their shiny, lustrous, satin-like hair. the hairs are actually hollow, which makes them slightly reflective and can also alter the color of the guinea pig. A Satin guinea pig in a particular color is likely to look a little different to a non-Satin Self of the same basic colour. Although Satins are often Selfs (known as Solid Satins) they also come in other types such as Satin Abyssinian, Satin Himalayan and Satin Tricolour.The Satin guinea pig breed is controversial due to inherent health problems. The breed has a tendency for a bone disease known as Osteodystrophy. The symptoms are a stiff, hopping walk, and loss of weight.
Silkie Guinea Pigs are a long-haired breed that requires regular trimming and/or grooming in order to keep it neat and tidy. Silkies have long, lustrous hair that can be several inches long, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
Teddy guinea pigs have very wiry hair. They are ridiculously cute animals with a halo of fluff surrounding them, and this appearance makes them very popular pets. They come in many different colors.
These guinea pigs have curly, long hair. Their coats form sweet little ringlets all over the GP’s body, making them look larger than they actually are. Texels come in different color varieties.
White Crested Guinea Pigs
‘White Crested’ is the name given to any guinea pig that has a small patch of white hair in between the ears resembling a small white crown. It is the GP equivalent of a hair parting, with the fur radiating out from a single point.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian gets its name from…who knows, really? You’d think it would mean that the breed originally came from Ethiopia, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.Whatever the reason for their name, these rodents are known for having “rosettes,” or cowlicks, all over their fur, giving them a perpetual case of bedhead. Keeping an Abyssinian can be extremely rewarding for experienced owners, but the breed’s excitable nature makes them a poor fit for first-time owners.
American Guinea Pig
The American is the most commonly-owned type of guinea pig, and they come in 19 different color classifications. Their coats are short and silky (and much more manageable than the Abyssinian’s).These guinea pigs are very sweet and docile, which explains their popularity. If you’re just starting out as an owner, the American is a good breed to learn on.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
Peruvians have long, wavy hair that makes them look like they spend their spare time fronting a “Flock of Seagulls” cover band. The hair can grow up to 2 feet long, so you’ll need to spend a lot of time grooming it and cutting it as necessary.These animals make alert and inquisitive pets, but they can become quite affectionate once they learn to trust you.
Sheltie/Silkie Guinea Pig
Like Peruvians, Shelties also have long hair, except theirs only grows backward. They are a pain to groom as a result, so they’re not ideal for anyone wanting a low-maintenance pet.However, they’re also generally considered the most gentle and easygoing of all the guinea pig breeds, making them an excellent option for families with small children.
Sheba Guinea Pig
Shebas take the crown for best facial hair, as they have long muttonchops that frame their faces, giving them the appearance of a Civil War general having a bad hair day. However, unlike some of the other long-haired breeds on this list, their fur grows slowly and requires little maintenance.This breed originated in Australia and is believed to be a mix of the Abyssinian and Peruvian. However, they’re generally not recognized by official boards like the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
Coronet Guinea Pig
Coronets have long, flowing manes that grow backward down their bodies. These rodents are extremely sweet and lovable, and they will constantly demand attention from their owners (which gives you plenty of opportunities to groom that fur).
Lunkarya Guinea Pig
This Swedish breed boasts a long, curly coat that gives it a mop-like appearance (and you can set it loose on your wood floors to have your very own low-tech Roomba). Lunkaryas, or “Lunks,” have three different variations within the breed: Lunkarya Peruvian, Lunkarya Sheltie, and Lunkarya Coronet.These animals aren’t normally found outside of Sweden, and they fare poorly in warmer climates due to all that hair.
Rex Guinea Pig
The Rex looks more like a chinchilla than a guinea pig, as it has short, wool-like fur that’s much easier to manage than some of the long-haired breeds shown here.This breed enjoys being handled, so if you like being affectionate towards your pets, it’s one of the better guinea pig options. Just resist the urge to squeeze them too tightly.
Baldwin Guinea Pig
The Baldwin is born with a full head of hair, but they gradually shed it over time until just a few whiskers on their face remain. That makes them very easy to groom, but it also gives them the appearance of a tiny hippopotamus.Their lack of hair means they need to be kept warm, as they don’t have much natural insulation, but they should also be kept out of direct sunlight. All in all, the Baldwin is probably best left to experienced guinea pig owners only.
Alpaca Guinea Pig
The Alpaca’s fur isn’t long, but it’s extremely dense and coarse. You’ll need to brush it every day and de-tangle it regularly, so this breed requires just about as much grooming as long-haired breeds like the Peruvian.These rodents can live up to 8 years, which gives you lots of time with your pet — but also means you’ll be spending a considerable amount of
Texel Guinea Pig
Texels are a mix between Shelties and Rexes, and they have dense, matted fur that can be a beast to maintain. Tangles are common, so expect to carve out some time every day to brush out their coats.This British breed is known for its dominance as a show guinea pig, but they’re less commonly kept as pets.
Teddy Guinea Pig
The Teddy gets its name due to the fact it resembles a teddy bear, and these plush guinea pigs are extremely loving and playful. They have short coats that only require periodic maintenance, and they tend to be social towards other guinea pigs.
Skinny Guinea Pig
Another hairless variety, the Skinny has a few tufts of fur on its back and face. All that exposed skin needs lots of TLC, as they can’t handle extreme temperatures, and they’re very prone to cuts and skin infections.You’ll save time on grooming, of course, but some of that will need to be spent finding them a suitable blanket.
Guinea Pig Breeds to Know
This list of the most popular guinea pig pet types will help you determine which breed of piggie will mesh best with your household and lifestyle.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
These cuties have tousled, short fur characterized by whorl-like tufts known as rosettes. Abyssinian guinea pigs are extremely popular and often chosen for their abundant energy (perfect for kids who want to play with them often) and smarts. They can learn how to maneuver obstacle courses and piggie games easily. These guinea pigs are best for families who will engage with the pet often throughout the day.
American Guinea Pig
With a smooth, slicked back coat of short fur, this breed is often showcased at pet stores. They’re calm, social and come in lots of color variations of white, caramel, black and dark brown. These fur babies are often sought after because they require less grooming, thanks to their short, smooth coats and robust health. An American guinea pig is a great pick for first-time pet owners.
Coronet Guinea Pig
Named after a crown, these long-haired pigs feature one solo swirling rosette on their foreheads. They are a playful breed full of love, curiosity and affection. Their longer coat requires daily brushing to keep mats away. These pigs are best for households with older, responsible children and adults who will manage grooming tasks and habitat maintenance regularly.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
This breed is also available in a satin variety, which often develops health concerns. One thing to be aware of is chewing off their own long fur, which may lead to hairballs or impaction in the digestive tract.
Skinny Guinea Pig
This pig type was bred sans fur for easy access to their skin for research experiments. You might come across a skinny pig at an animal rescue group needing extra TLC. This breed is a bit nervous, but sociable, and has a weak immune system which may lead to a shorter lifespan. This pet is best for an adult who can manage visits to the vet for extra care when needed.
Teddy Guinea Pig
Fluffy! That’s the best way to describe these pigs with medium-length fur that sticks straight up into a smooth, soft coat. Teddy’s are characteristically quiet, gentle, and sweet little buddies. These pets are best for attentive families who will commit to daily brushing to remove tangles and debris (like bedding) from getting matted into the pet’s fur. Like other guinea pig breeds, Teddy’s also come in a satin variety that often experience serious health issues.