Guinea Pig Breeds

Breeds of Guinea Pig

Before getting your guinea pig you should decide which breed of cavy you want. There are many guinea pig breeds, although the 7 breeds that are currently recognized worldwide are the Abyssinian, Peruvian, American, Teddy, Coronet, Texel and the Silkie (or Angora or Sheltie). Of course there are lots of other breeds of guinea pigs, but different countries have different classifications towards different breeds. Some people may say that the Dutch breed of guinea pig is a colour pattern and should be classed as a colour, not a breed. ‘Self’ guinea pigs (guinea pigs that have a coat of only one colour) are also sometimes classed as a separate breed.

This photo shows a dutch guinea pig with a self-white guinea pig and a self-black guinea pig

This photo shows a dutch guinea pig with a self-white guinea pig and a self-black guinea pig

Different breeds also have different fur-types that they have been bred especially for. A Silkie, Angora or Sheltie guinea pig has long sleek fur, whereas a teddy guinea pig has short course coat, that can sometimes look wiry. Abyssinian guinea pigs have fairly long fur that sticks up at different angles in rosettes.

The Abyssinian breed is said to be the oldest domesticated breed of guinea pig.

A lot of guinea pigs are simply classed as ‘Short Hair’ guinea pigs, rather than giving them a specifc breed name for that colour or look of guinea pig, (although as I said earlier, you do get ‘Self Reds and Self Blacks’, which are specific names to do with the coat colour.)

Short Hair Guinea Pig Breeds

  • Agouti – this breed has short hair that is most often a dark colour flecked with another dark colour. In terms of appearance the Agouti guinea pig is fairly similar to the wild guinea pig that can be found in South America.
  • American – a short coat of any colour that lies fairly flat against their body. They have a quite rounded head. This is one of the most common breeds of guinea pig in existence.
  • Crested – this is a short-haired guinea pig which has a crest on its forehead. The crest can either be white or the same colour as the body if it is a self-Coloured guinea pig.
  • Dalmation – this breed has quite short fur. There are darker patches around the eye, and lots of little spots of black on the cream coloured body.
  • Dutch – a short haired guinea pig that has a coloured patch around its eye and a coloured rump, separated by a band of white around the middle, like a Dutch rabbit.
  • Himalayan – this breed of guinea pig has short fur with distinctive markings: a cream coloured body, with dark ‘smudges’ around the nose, eyes, ears and feet. This breed is sometimes classified as a colour rather than a breed.
  • Teddy – this guinea pig has short coarse fur that is of a wiry or fuzzy texture. Teddies are also known as ‘rex’ guinea pigs as ‘teddy’ is the American name.
  • Skinny Pigs – these guinea pigs are virtually hairless pigs.

Long Hair Guinea Pig Breeds

  • Abyssinian – this guinea pig has fairly long coarse fur that sticks up in rosettes. The fur can be of any colour.
  • Alpaca – This breed has guite long fluffy hair that sticks up in rosettes.
  • Coronet – like the crested guinea pig breed, the Coronet breed also has a crest on the forehead, although it is a long haired guinea pig. The crest will either be white or the same colour as the body if it is a self-colour guinea pig.
  • Peruvian – this guinea pig’s coat can grow up to several inches long. Its fur is very soft and very sleek and can be of any colour.
  • Sheba Mini Yak – this is an Australian breed or variety that has long fairly wavy hair. It looks a little like a cross between the Abyssinian breed and the Peruvian breeds of guinea pigs.
  • Silkie – the Silkie, also known as the ‘sheltie’ or ‘Angora’ as it was originally called has very long silkie fur.
  • Texel – this breed is fairly uncommon – the fur is long like the silkie breed, but is curly and falls into waves.

The breeds that are listed above are of course not all the guinea pig breeds in the world as there are so many. You do also get guinea pigs that are mixtures of breeds.

Remember, if you have a guinea pig with long fur it is likely to need more grooming and attention than short-haired guinea pigs, to prevent the fur becoming matted and tangled. However short your guinea pig’s fur is, you should always brush it regularly and check for any tangles.

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2 Responses “Guinea Pig Breeds”

  1. Lilly says:

    why dont you put different pictures of the different breeds its tough for me to tell my guinea pig!!!

  2. farmville says:

    I have recently started a website, the information you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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