Guinea Pig Breeds: A list of all the different breeds of guinea pigs

 Among all the great pets that are available, you've finally made the decision to raise a guinea pig. Congratulations; now what? Select a specific variety of guinea pigs. In contrast to dogs, guinea pigs come in a smaller variety, making the choice easier.

Guinea Pig Breeds: A list of all the different breeds of guinea pigs
Guinea Pig Breeds: A list of all the different breeds of guinea pigs

 There are 10 well-known breeds in particular. The appearance, temperament, size, and coat of these guinea pig breeds vary. However, they are all extremely similar in general. When choosing a breed, there is no wrong answer. Your guinea pig will make a wonderful pet, regardless of the breed you choose. This manual is the best source for choosing the guinea pig with whom you want to form a loving relationship.

1. American Guinea Pig

 The American Guinea Pig is the most popular breed overall, as you can probably guess. They represent these animals at their best and are probably the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, it's not all that common to see guinea pigs of another breed. In addition to having wonderful temperaments, Americans get along better with the other guinea pigs in the enclosure. Additionally, they adore kids just as much as kids adore them.

 However, the fact that they are so simple to maintain is the main factor in their popularity. Not all guinea pigs have short, straight hair like Americans do. Additionally, compared to breeds with long hair, grooming is much quicker because of this particular physical characteristic.

Interesting Facts

  • The English Guinea Pigs were known as the American Guinea Pigs in the 1500s. In some nations, they are still referred to by that name today.
  • The American Guinea Pig is the oldest breed of guinea pig, dating back to 5000 B.C.
  • The Andes in western South America is where the American Guinea Pig first appeared. European traders on South American expeditions brought them to the U.K.

American Breed Recommendation

 If you want to get a guinea pig for your kids, we'd highly recommend this breed. Make sure the child knows how to treat these animals with respect so they don't inadvertently harm them. Guinea pigs are very delicate animals!

 For adults looking for a small, relatively low-maintenance pet, American guinea pigs are also fantastic. While they may not be the most interesting or exotic breed they have wonderful personalities that are loved by most people.

2. Abyssinian Guinea Pig

 The Abyssinian is unquestionably one of the oldest breeds of guinea pigs and a fantastic conversation starter for house guests. Some of the best show guinea pigs in the world can be identified by their distinctive multicolored hair with "swirls."

 These swirls, which are also known as rosettes, are one of the key characteristics that are evaluated in these show competitions. In order for your Abby to be competitive, show judges advise that she have between eight and ten rosettes. Most Abyssinians have six rosettes as a point of reference. More is better in this situation. Who cares, though, if you're not showing your Cavy? Everything is up to personal preference!

 However, Abyssinians are also known for being naturally mischievous or naughty, and as a result, they frequently end up in more trouble than necessary. This should not stop you from owning one, though. Although they have the propensity to let their curiosity get the better of them, their fun-loving nature will more than make up for it.

Interesting Facts

  • No one is certain of the origins of the Abyssinian Guinea pigs because their origin is so extremely old.
  • Scientists have refuted the widespread belief that they originated in ancient Abyssinia, which is now Ethiopia. They are unrelated by name.
  • The first Abyssinian arrived in Europe in the 16th century, and for unknown reasons, the British decided to call them Abyssinian Guinea Pigs.

Abyssinian Breed Recommendation

 Personally, unless a young child is receiving assistance from an adult in caring for the animal, we wouldn't suggest getting an Abyssinian. It might be a problem if the child is too young to properly groom this breed.

 This breed is more challenging to groom because of the long hair and unusual rosettes. Additionally, the coat can tangle and bother the cavy if it isn't properly groomed.

 The Abyssinian is a fantastic choice for adults! They share many characteristics with American guinea pigs in terms of temperament and personality, but they also have a distinctive flair.

3. Peruvian guinea pig

 The Peruvian guinea pig has by far the longest hair of all the different species of guinea pigs. In fact, the guinea pig who holds the record for the longest hair was a Peruvian. His hair was 20 inches long at its longest!

 The Peruvian, in contrast to the Abyssinian, has long, straight hair. Of all breeds, they do indeed need the most care and dedication for their coat.

 However, some owners choose to cut their hair in order to avoid brushing their coats every day. Personally, we wouldn't recommend it - we say they are as expected! But it's your choice as the owner.

 Check with your vet on how to safely cut a Peruvian's hair! And don't shave them! This can lead to all sorts of skin and coat problems.

 The Peruvian tends to be more alert and inquisitive than all other breeds. Yet they are just as loving and will often come to greet you out of curiosity at every opportunity.

Interesting facts

  • Despite popular belief, the Peruvian guinea pig was not raised in a lab like the skinny pig. People probably make this assumption because of their unique looks.
  • They are South American natives. in particular, from nations like Bolivia, Argentina, and of course Peru.
  • The first domestication of Peruvians took place in France rather than England, where Americans and Abyssinians enjoyed immediate success.

Peruvian Breed Recommendation

 If properly supervised, I highly recommend a Peruvian for older kids and teenagers. It might be simpler for the guinea pig to maintain if you intend to trim his hair. In either case, it is always strongly advised to supervise these delicate animals.

 Look no further if you're an adult looking for an exotic pet, take the Peruvian. They are lovely, kind animals that are also unique and interesting. With a Peruvian guinea pig, there are never any boring moments.

4. Silkie guinea pig

 As a point of reference, the Silkie is also known as the Sheltie guinea pig. The Silkie and Peruvian appear quite similar at first glance due to their long, straight hair. Nevertheless, there is a slight physical difference.

 The hair around their heads regrows differently from Peruvians. It actually looks like it was deliberately smoothed with hair products. Of course, no hair products were involved, the Silkie is just so sleek - earning it the nickname: the Hollywood Cavy.

 There's something about the Silkie guinea pig that makes him so charming. Of all the breeds, they are perhaps the calmest and gentlest. As a result, they are fantastic with young children who also have a calm demeanor.

 They are as laid back as any other pet and may even seem timid or shy at first. For this reason, Silkies take a little longer to warm up than other guinea pig breeds.

Interesting facts

  • Silkies were originally bred in the UK by crossing an "auto black guinea pig" with a Peruvian.
  • In America, this breed is called the Silkie. However, in Europe, they are called Shelties. No one knows exactly why they were so named.
  • In recent years, the Silkie has become one of the most popular shows for guinea pigs.

Silky Breed Recommendation

 Despite their popularity with children, we wouldn't recommend a Silkie for a child. However, if you are a parent who is ready to take on this responsibility, then by all means go for it. Their hair is shinier and softer than Peruvians, so it's perfect for playing with small children, but not for them.

 The Silkie is what the majority of our adult friends who own guinea pigs have. Of course, they adore their guinea pig. We advise Silkies to anyone who wants to establish a strong bond with their guinea pigs. Simply put, it is a wonderful breed for any adult with time to devote to grooming.

5. Teddy guinea pig

 Boasting a short but dense coat, the Teddy guinea pig is often described as "wiry". In other words, they have a rough, wiry coat. A Silkie's coat is the absolute opposite of a Teddy coat.

 Although they aren't as gentle as other breeds of guinea pigs (think: Silkie, Peruvian), their coats are relatively easy to care for. However, that doesn't mean there's no grooming at all. Occasional brushing is still needed to remove any junk or debris stuck in their fur. And believe me, there will be a waste if not brushed.

 The reason they are called the "teddy" is because of their uncanny resemblance to a stuffed animal - the teddy bear. Their signature feature is the snub nose, which is exclusive to this breed of guinea pig.

 Teddy is a guinea pig with one of the best personalities and temperaments. They are excellent pets for all types of families because, as the majority of owners will attest, they warm up to people fairly quickly.

Interesting facts

  • Like the Skinny Pig, Teddy was born from a genetic mutation in breeding. Since then, they have become popular guinea pigs.
  • The name "Teddy" comes from the fact that they look like little teddy bears with their noses turned up.
  • The Teddy Guinea Pig's distinctive nose is known as the "Roman Nose."

Teddy breed recommendation

 We would definitely recommend the Teddy Guinea Pig for children, as long as they are old enough. They are relatively low maintenance and have a charming personality that any child will fall for. Basic brushing is necessary, but children can easily do this under adult supervision. Older children will have no problem. While having different coats, teddies are closely similar to American guinea pigs very.

6. Texel guinea pig

 The Texel guinea pig is truly a remarkable breed sought after by some of the top enthusiasts and show breeders. Texels exhibit soft, curly hair not only apparent on their backs, but all over their bodies, including their stomachs.

 With such extravagant coats, they quickly became show guinea pigs with immense success. Whether at competitions or around guests, the Texel is sure to turn heads.

 As you have probably gathered, this breed is the most difficult to groom. They have beautiful wavy locks which have both advantages and disadvantages. The latter is an extremely tangle-prone coat. It can cause a lot of pain if their coats get tangled and neglected, and you certainly don't want that.

Interesting facts

  • A Silkie pig and a Rex guinea pig were crossed to create the Texel guinea pig. The Texel you see today was created through a few minor modifications.
  • The term "Long-Haired Shelties" is sometimes used to describe Texel guinea pigs. It is an appropriate and accurate nickname.
  • One of the newest guinea pig breeds is the texel. In actuality, it took until 1998 for the American Cavy Breeders' Association to grant them official recognition.

Texel breed recommendation

 Due to the time and dedication required, we recommend the Texel Guinea Pig only to those who want to show off their guinea pigs. Or if you are ready for a lot of grooming dedication. With the Texel, there is an expected amount of care needed. This is why they are not popular guinea pigs, especially as normal pets.

 They are especially not suitable for children. However, they are an awesome sight to behold and children generally love interacting with a Texel.

7. White-crested guinea pig

 These adorable little ones are sure to delight the crowd. They most resemble the American guinea pig, aside from their distinctive crest. However, those in the know can quickly identify one because they seem to have a white crown over their heads. Hence the white "hoopoe."

 The White Crested shares more than just size and shape with the Americans. Both of them have short, straight hair that is simple to style and ideal for kids. The White Crested is much rare than the American, though. Expecting to see one when you enter your neighborhood pet store is impossible. Finding a specialized Crestie breeder will probably be necessary.

Interesting facts

  • The White Crested is available in various coat types, including brindle, roan, and agouti.
  • A Crestie's white crown is actually a single rosette perched atop the head. Normal rosettes (even numbers) come in pairs, but not with this breed.
  • A white hoopoe can be found, but it is very difficult to find one that is of show quality.

White-crested breed recommendation

 If you were looking to get an American, the Crestie is also a fantastic option. They are suitable for adults and children and are some of the best small pets. In terms of commitment, they are on the same level as the Texel or the American.

 If you happen to find a Whited Crested, it's a no-brainer for more casual guinea pig owners. The only downside is that you will probably have to explain to guests that your guinea pig is not an American breed.

8. Rex guinea pig

 The Rex guinea pig is a short-haired cavy whose hair does not exceed 1 cm in length. Most mammals have three different types of hair, one of which is the "guard hair". These specific hairs serve to protect the rest of the coat from wear and excess moisture. However, the Rex lacks guard hairs, creating a woolly appearance.

 In addition to the dense, rough texture of the coat, the Rex's most notable features are the long, droopy ears. In a way, they resemble hedgehogs while maintaining the shape and feel of a guinea pig.

Interesting facts

  • The Rex guinea pig is the only guinea pig without guard hair, which gives it a unique woolly feel.
  • Rex guinea pigs come in a variety of coat colors including brown, white, or agouti.
  • A Rex's lifespan can reach six years, depending on the breed and environment.

Rex Breed Recommendation

 For kids, we heartily suggest Rex guinea pigs. They are easy to care for and have a charming demeanor that can put a smile on any child's face. The Rex has a special texture that kids seem to love because they lack guard hair.

 The Rex should also be taken into consideration by anyone looking to purchase an American guinea pig. You can pet them for hours because they make the best pets.

9. Himalayan guinea pig

 The Himalayan guinea pig is truly a remarkable breed and is often referred to as the "Siamese cat of guinea pigs". And despite their name, these breeds are not native to the Himalayas (mountain range). Siamese cats come from Thailand, but the Himalayan guinea pig actually comes from South America.

 You can tell right away from the nickname that this guinea pig is unique. They are known to have color (typically black) on their noises, feet, and ears in addition to being considered albinos (called "points"). Additionally, these guinea pigs have red eyes.

 Their body pigment (or color) does not develop until they age. When they are born, they are just white with red eyes. Usually, after a few months, the colors start to show.

Interesting facts

  • The Himalayas were not named because of the Himalayan mountains, but because of their colors similar to those of the Himalayan (or Siamese) cat.
  • The points (or pigments) of a Himalayan will slowly fade if they are stressed or malnourished.
  • Himalayan guinea pigs are among the most social guinea pigs. They play well with others.

Himalayan Breed Recommendation

 These unique guinea pigs are recommended for anyone who wants to own a unique guinea pig but doesn't want to deal with a lot of grooming. Their short coats make them favorable guinea pigs to own – aside from the common American cavy.

 Because they are albino, the Himalayans should not be exposed to too much sun. For this reason, living in an area with a warm climate may not be best for this breed of guinea pig.

10. Skinny Pig

 Perhaps the most unique of all breeds, the skinny pig is a hairless guinea pig. However, they are not completely hairless. They actually have hair on their feet and legs, although minimal.

 These guinea pigs originated from a colony of laboratory guinea pigs, where strains of short-haired and hairless guinea pigs were crossed. The end result: a Skinny Pig.

 They certainly aren't the most attractive breeds of guinea pigs, but they do have similar personalities to other breeds. Of course, many people have claimed that they may be "harder to love" because of their physical appearance. However, as long as you treat them right, they will love you back.

Interesting facts

  • Hairless guinea pigs are not always skinny pigs, but skinny pigs are always hairless guinea pigs. Others exist, such as the Baldwin.
  • This breed has been around for less time than you might think. They were first bred in the late 70s.
  • Skinnies were developed at Charles River Laboratories for use in dermatological studies.

Skinny Pig Breed Recommendation

 These guinea pigs are not suitable for kids, in our opinion. Their skin is extremely sensitive because they have no fur. A Skinny might get hurt by unintentional wrongdoing. Furthermore, because they are not your typical "cute" guinea pigs, kids might not appreciate the breed's appearance.

 For those who can appreciate Skinny Pig's wonderful personality, we highly recommend giving them a try. If you're ok with the looks, they make fantastic pets.

Where can I find a specific guinea pig breed?

 The most well-known guinea pig breeds are on this list. But not all of them are simple to locate. The simplest way to find a guinea pig is to go to a pet store in your neighborhood. A commercial pet store is probably where you'll find an American or Abyssinian if you've been on the lookout for one. You will need to look elsewhere, though, for the more uncommon breeds.

 However, due to the rarity of some breeds, they may not always be found in your area. If you really want one, you might have to travel a bit. Guinea pig forums are also another great way to find a specific breed. Often people post photos of their unique guinea pigs. Sign up and send a message to these users and ask them where they are from. There may even be specialist breeders lurking around the forums.

 The key is to be persistent. Keep checking forums and adoption sites and before you know it, your breed of choice may appear.

Choosing a Guinea Pig Breed

 There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a guinea pig breed. My recommendations are only recommendations. If you feel like a specific breed speaks to you, then go for it. As long as you (or your child) take the right information and dedicate the time to raising a guinea pig, you will have a wonderful experience.

 So don't worry too much about which one to buy, as they will all make great pets for you and your family. All of these guinea pig breeds have warm personalities and as long as you take good care of them, they will love you back. Good education and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.