Guinea pigs are among those pet animals which have a number of beautiful varieties with different body shapes and colors. According to the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA), there are 13 different guinea pig breeds. All these breeds have different body shapes and colors that make them very fascinating and loveable pet animals.
If your curiosity has sparked and now you have started thinking to adopt a guinea pig, then this article has a lot of information for you to know about this cavies breeds. To know more please keep reading…
When it comes to talking on pet animals, most of the time people discuss cats and dogs as their most favorite pet animals. Normally, they do not consider this pet a replacement or second choice for other pet animals.
But for your trust, I would claim that cavies are the cutest and prettiest small animals one should keep as pets at homes. The attribute of having several types of breeds makes cavies the most favorable pet animals.
Basically, we divide the cavies breeds into four different categories based on their coat and hairstyle, these categories include short-haired, rough coat, long-haired and hairless pigs. Below I will explain in detail all of these types.
American guinea pigs
The alternative name of American pigs pet is Cavidse Porcellus and has originated from South America. This type of pig has a size of 8 to 9 inches with a life span of 4 to 7 years. These pigs have prominent ears and round nose which make them very notable species of cavies.
Though there is only one color of American pigs pet but may be found in multiple colors also. Their coat is very smooth and they are very friendly and active. They feature a single rosette on the top of their head which normally comes in white color; however, sometimes it may vary in color.
This type of Guinea pets is extremely popular among those who are fond of keeping pets. You can find them easily in a nearby shop if you want to buy one and add to the group of pet animals at your home. This is my guide to have a better understanding of their likes/dislikes.
Ridgeback guinea pigs
Another kind of breed in the short-haired category is the Ridgeback pigs. Origin of the guinea pigs that belong to this breed in America. This breed is also popular with their other name the Ridges. The lifespan of this breed’s ranges from 4 – 7 years, and have a size of 5 inches to 12 inches.
The Ridgeback has a short coat of hairs that is too much smooth which is embellished with a noticeable unbroken ridge of standing hair. This ridge of standing hair runs down the length of its back which starts from the neck and goes till rump.
Ridgeback has a very strange kind of body structure in terms of their hair on the body. The hair on their hind feet grows upward the leg unlikely other animals’ when such hair grows down the leg.
They also have different body structure when they are born. During the birth, the Ridgeback does not show the ridge of fur on their back. The fur in the ridge takes some days to show on the back.
Himalayan guinea pig breeds
Originated from South East Asia, this type is one of the most beautiful breeds. They have a life span of 5 years to 7 years with a body size of 8 inches to 12 inches.
They are also popular as Siamese cat among the guinea pig breeds. The animals that belong to this breed have a beautiful body with plenty of colors over it. They have a white coat with the presence of colorful spots over it.
These spots come in different colors; however, most common and popular are brown and black. These colorful spots exist on their ears, feet, and nose which make their whole body give an amazing look to the viewers.
This breed is recommended for cooler climate because they cannot live or survive in places where the temperature is high. In hot temperature, their dark spots get fade which is a sign of discomfort they feel due to hot weather.
This phenomenon is also observed when the cavy is sick, shocked or not feeling well. Their life span increases when they live in a climate where the temperature is low.
Rough coat guinea pig breeds
Teddy guinea pig
This bread has been found through the genetic mutation and this is the reason it does not have a specific country of origin. The size of the Teddy ranges from 8 inches to 12 inches.
They have a life span of 4 to 5 years. This bread has a short, even, harsh and dense springy coat. Their hair grows throughout the body. Their hair does not have a long length but has a shape like a puff.
The hair on their body spread all over their body which makes them a soft sort of a toy.
Teddy is well mannered with a cool and sweet temperament. They are normally fun-loving animals who like to live with kids. It is, therefore, a high recommendation to keep this breed as a pet if you have kids at home.
Abyssinian guinea pigs
South America is the origin of Abyssinian. Animals in this kind of breed have a life span of 5 to 8 years and size of 8 to 12 inches. They have different and very unique eye-catching hair formations.
It is very easy to spot them because of their unique hairstyles. Their hairstyles make them look highly adorable among other kinds of pig’s breeds. Abyssinian come in a variety of different colors.
Sometimes they have a single color, but sometimes different colors together contribute to the beauty of this beautiful pet animal. This breed has common colors that are black, red, grey and white.
The reason that the majority of the people prefer to keep cavies as pet animal from this breed is because of their hairy colorful styles. Their different designs and skinny body attract people’s attention and become their guests.
Sheba guinea pig
Australia is the origin country of Sheba. This breed is also known with the name Sheba Mini Yak. It has a size of 7 to 12 inches having life span up to 7 years.
This breed has a tousled rosette coat that has plenty of hairs on it. Normally, this bread is known to be the combination of the Abyssinian and Peruvian breeds.
The dense and springy coat of Sheba gives a natural texture color. This breed is very old and people believe that they belong to the 1960 era when Mrs. Wynne Eecen founded them for the very first time. Mrs. Wynne founded this breed by crossing the tow breeds called the Abyssinian and Peruvian.
The animals that fall in this breed category come in a variety of colors. People who have the experience to keep them as pets adore them too much. But some people do not like these cavies because of their long coats.
Their coats in some cases are longer than their feet that spoil their appearance.
Rex guinea pig
Rex pig has been originated from South America that has a life span of 5 – 6 years. They have a size of 8 to 17 inches. As far as the upper body coat is concerned, Rex has the roughest coat.
The coat has a woolly texture because they do not have guard hairs. Though the length of their hair is only 1 cm long, they contribute well to making a coat that is very dense. One of the prominent body features Rex have is their broad head and droopy ears.
This breed is very pleasant in nature. They have a sweet temperament which makes them a good choice to be kept as a pet.
Long-haired guinea pig breeds
This kind of bread is less common and you may face difficulties to find them in a nearby pet store. As far as cavies popularity as pet animals are concerned Apaca’s rarity makes them less popular. Alpaca appearance is also different from other common breeds. Their hair is dense, curly and grows over their head.
The curly nature of their hair makes them prone to accumulate dust very easily. This is the reason pet experts suggests a monthly bath for these pigs.
It means that you would need to pay special heed on their cleanliness. Ignorance in this regard may bring some serious health issues for them.
Alpaca is also loved very much like any other animal when people keep them as pets. The basic reason why people too much love them is for their affectionate nature.
They love to be with you and want to spend as much time as possible. One of the reasons they are so much affectionate is because their coat needs daily combing. Combing of their coat makes them fresh and resultantly they feel friendlier.
This breed is also famous for its name “Sheltie” which has a size of 7 inches to 10 inches. This breed lives up to 7 years of age. Their coat is very soft, shiny and silky and hair on their body is very long.
This is mostly known for its gentleness and shyness. Their pleasant mood along with their down to earth nature makes them the first choice of many pet lovers. Sheltie comes in a variety of colors but it is very hard to find them in any special color of your choice.
Their long hair makes it very time taking and a difficult task to maintain their coat. It needs to bath them too often so that they may remain fresh and healthy.
This attribute of being getting dirty quickly make them unsuitable choice to keep them outdoor. Generally, they are easy to care for while keeping it as a pet at your home.
England has originated the Texel breed that is also known with the name of Curlies. This breed has animals that have size up to 12 inches long and as low as 4 inches short.
The life span of Texel pet is 4 to 7 years. This kind of pigs also has very soft but thick hairs which are curls in shape. The shape of their head is well-rounded and broad while their body is compact in shape.
They have very near resemblance in appearance with the Silkie breed and have a similar curly hairstyle. The hair is so thick that they cover the whole of the body completely. Their face has smaller hair but in some cases, it has no hair at all beneath the lower jaws.
This bread is not ideal for kids or those people who do not have plenty of free time. The reason is that their hair needs too much care in order to maintain the pet fresh all the time.
Coronet guinea pig breeds are also known as English pigs and have been originated from England. Their size and age are 7 to 12 inches and 6 to 8 years respectively.
This breed resembles the Silkies breed because the animals in this breed have a smooth coat that covers the whole of the body. The only difference between these two breeds is that Coronet has a rosette in the middle of its head while the Silkies does not have it.
They come in different colors however; each of the types has a white spot on their body.
They are very affectionate, playful and friendly. Like all other long-haired cavies, Coronet also needs some extra care to maintain them. They need special heed to groom them and keep them afresh all the time.
Peruvian guinea pigs
Peruvian guinea pig breeds have been originated from Paris that has a life span of 4 to 7 years. Like others, they come in different sizes which ranges from 8 to 12 inches.
The Peruvian breed came in Paris in 1886-87. They have long hairs that cover all of the body. Their topcoat is very flexible that can extend as long as up to 24 inches.
In fact, this breed is the very first long-haired breed which was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc. You will need to take more care of Peruvian Pigs if you have decided to keep them as pets at your home.
Merino guinea pig
Merino Breed has two rosettes in the hip and has long, dense and curly hairs on the whole of the body. Their life span ranges from 4 years to 6 years and has a size of 4 to 11 inches.
Their fur is short on their heads while it is long on their other parts of the body. This breed has a resemblance with Texel breed in many things. Their heads are short and broad and this bread is very pleasant and lovely in temperament and has attracted many pets’ lovers due to this characteristic.
If you are planning to keep this beautiful pet, then you may need to learn about some things as far as their care is concerned. Their fur needs regular grooming with a brush or a plastic comb.
Be careful to have the brush with the direction of the air while combing to avoid any sort of damage to the hair. Their fur needs a trim once or twice in a month.
In addition to this, you must be looking for any knot in the hair and remove them as soon as you spot them. Keep remembering that this breed is not recommended for outdoor keeping.
The alternative name of Lunkarya is Lunk and has originated from Sweden. It has a life span of 5 to 8 years while the size of 4 to 12 inches. Basically, this breed was developed in Sweden and fetched to many other countries by the pet lovers.
Main countries where this breed is loved and kept are the Nordic countries. This bread comes in three variations i.e. the first one is called Lunkarya Peruvian.
This variation has a prominent forehead. The second is Lunkarya Sheltie and they have their hair flowing back over the rest of the body. And the third one is called Lunkarya Coronet having a crest on the forehead and rough, long, curly coat. The coat is very dense and has many curls.
This breed also needs some extra care as the coat is not a flat or straight one. In fact, it will be a hard job to give a comb and maintain it. This breed is recommended to those pet keepers who are experienced and know how to keep and maintain cavies.
Hairless guinea pig breeds
Baldwin breed is also popular with the name of hairless guinea pig and has originated from California. Their life span is from 4 to 6 years and has a size from 8 inches to 11 inches.
Baldwin pigs have a textured design on their skin and have no hair at all on it. One thing interesting to note about this breed is that they have their body completely covered with hair when they are born. But just a few days after their birth, the hair from their body starts falling.
In a duration of a few months, they through all of the hair from the skin and become completely bald. Like skinny pigs, they also have a very soft body structure.
Their exposed skin also makes them very vulnerable to extreme environmental conditions. Cavies cannot bear to live outside in a very cold or very warm temperature. They are the pet animals of a moderate temperature. These rodents need some extra care and maintenance as they may be attacked by fungal or skin diseases.
Canada has also developed some of the very good breeds. Skinny Pigs is also one of their contributions in this regard. Skinny pigs have a minimum size of 8 inches while it goes to a size as large as 11 inches.
Their life span is 4 years but sometimes it may be more than that. The Canadians developed this breed through the crossing between hairless lab strain and haired pigs.
Though as their names suggest that there are no hairs on their body at all, but they do have some hairs on their legs and feet. Skinny cavy has a very soft body and their body appearance give such a look that it seems they have no ribs or spine at all.
Their skin comes in many colors and patterns with some popular and very commons ones like Tortoiseshell, Dutch, and Himalayan.
This breed needs extensive care and high maintenance due to their bared skin. The exposed skin makes them very susceptible to fungal diseases and wounds. It is therefore highly recommended that one should have proper experiences in keeping and maintaining the guinea cavies if he wants to keep this breed.
The rarest type of guinea pig breeds
Cavies have become very popular among pet lovers. Many people now have started to keep them as their pets at their homes along with other pet animals.
Some of these rodents are very popular and can be found anywhere you look for them. However, some are comparatively rare and that means you may face difficulties to find them in every pet store of every town or city.
Alpaca breed is comparatively rare and you may not be able to see this pet in every home like any other kind of cavies.
This girl on the video has all the breeds of cavies that you look for:
The friendliest type of guinea pig breeds
Generally, we talk about the friendly nature of a pig; we mean how often a pig spends time with their owner. It is a common perception that Hairy pets are friendlier as compared to other types. Among the hairy ones, the Abyssinian is considered the friendliest one.
Similarly, the Teddies and American guinea pigs are also believed that they are friendly nature pet animals.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.