Guinea pigs are really adorable creatures to have as pets. They are available in so many different breeds. Each breed comes with its own color, size, and shape. Even though there are differences in the appearance of different breeds, they mostly share similar behavior. Irrespective of the type of the breed, they are very lovable and offer great companionship to their owner. It is anyways good to know more about the different breeds available as it would be helpful in making the choice of the pet that you would want in your home.
Types of Guinea Pig Breeds
1. The American
The American guinea pig is the most common breed among the guinea pigs. It is the breed that anyone would imagine when the name guinea pig is referred to. This breed is very soft in nature and they get along easily with other pigs. They are very loveable and friendly towards children as well. This breed has got a lot of popularity as they are very easy to be taken care of. They have very short hair. It will not take much time for grooming an American guinea pig as they have short hair. Grooming the long-haired guinea pigs can usually be a bit tiring. The American guinea pig should be the right choice if one would want to gift this pet to a kid. This is not a very extraordinary or exotic breed but is very loveable. The ease in pet care is a major highlight when it comes to the American breed.
2. The Abyssinian
This is the breed which is among the oldest ones in the guinea pig species. They are a very loveable breed and they easily get along with people. Even a visitor would find them very friendly. They have long hair that has swirls, thus they make the best show guinea pigs. A guinea pig with about 8 to 10 swirls is considered as the greatest pick to be presented for a competition.
Long hair makes it a bit hard to take care of the breed. They need to be groomed very frequently. This breed would not be an ideal choice for a kid due to their frequent grooming needs. They are also popular for their naughty behavior and running into troubles. This would not make them any less attractive as they are very loving and bring a load of fun. This lively breed would easily attract everyone and would really make an awesome pet irrespective of the mess they may create.
3. The Peruvian
The Peruvianis the guinea pig breed that comes with the longest hair. The longest hair that got recorded for a guinea pig is 20 inches. Peruvians have very straight hair without any curls. They need a lot of grooming as the hair is very long. There are pet owners who prefer to cut the hair of their guinea pigs so that they can get rid of the work of everyday grooming. It does not make any sense to get the Peruvian breed and cut the hair as there are other breeds with short hair. A Peruvian guinea pig should be considered only if there is enough time to groom them. This breed of guinea pigs is found as the ones which are very curious and also highly alert. They are very good in the homes with kids if they are groomed well.
4. The Silkie
Silkie or the Sheltie breed of guinea pig is another popular breed of the guinea pigs which are mostly considered by the pet lovers. They have a lot of similarity with Peruvian as they also have very long and smooth hair. The physical appearance of the silkie differs from Peruvian as the hair around the head sweeps back in a different way and has a look as if the hair is slicked back forcefully. This hair styling makes them look very adorable and much different from other types of guinea pigs.
As the breed has long hair, it also needs very frequent grooming for keeping the hair clean and beautiful, so they are not a great choice as a pet for kids. If anybody else can take care of the grooming then they are an amazing choice. They have very shiny and soft hair that kids would love to play with.
5. The Teddy
The Teddyis the breed that has a very dense but short coat. Teddy is even popularly called as wiry. Their hair is not very soft like the other ones but is very easy to manage. The frizzy coat of this guinea pig makes it necessary for frequent brushing so that anything stuck to the fur can be removed. They are called teddy as they resemble a lot like the stuffed animal. The upturned nose is another characteristic of this breed and is quite exclusive to this breed of the pigs.
The Texel guinea pig is the very cutest breed in this species. It is one of the guinea pig breeds that most of the pet lovers go in search of. These guinea pigs come with very soft and curly hair that are presently covering their whole body which includes the belly. The unique hair that they have made them the best and the very successful breed in the guinea pig shows.
The hair of this breed is very beautiful but can easily get tangled; this makes it very necessary to spend time on grooming them. This is a breed of guinea pigs which would be recommended for the ones who want to have a show guinea pig. If one has enough time to groom them then it is the right pick as it makes an exotic breed among the guinea pigs.
7. The White Crested
This is the guinea pig which is very cute, full of fun and also is a crowd pleaser. This breed of guinea pigs is much easier to be identified as they come with a white crown above the head. They have a lot of resemblance with the American. They have very smooth and short hair which is very easy to manage.
It is the breed of guinea pig which is one among the hairless breeds. They are born with hair but within two months, all of their hair would fall out, making them completely hairless. They usually come with folds and wrinkles on the skin and even on the head. The skin of the guinea pig is the same as the coat color. This is a breed which is very easy to take care as they do not need a lot of grooming. This breed does make a very cute pet.
Magpie is the breed of guinea pig which comes with the black and white coat that has a distinct patching of the colors. Their ears are usually black. This is the breed of guinea pigs which got originated from Dalmatians, brindles, and Roans. The peculiar look of this breed makes it a great pick. The hair is not too long and can be easily managed. Kids may find this guinea pig very attractive. They are very loving and friendly with the kids too. It is one of the best in the guinea pig category that would be adored in anyone’s home.
10. The Rex
Rex guinea pig is a very short-haired rodent and their hair is not much longer than just 1 cm. Most of the mammals are covered with various kinds of the hairs which include the guard hairs. This is the kind of the hair that is meant for protecting the coat so that it does not wear out and not have much moisture. Rex does not have any guard hair and so their fur is so much like wool. The unique feature of this guinea pig is the long and droopy ears that come with a very rough and dense coat. They are best for kids as they can be easily taken care. The fur like the hair of this breed is something that children love to play with.
11. The Himalayan
The Himalayan guinea pig is a remarkable breed and is even known as Siamese cats. They are a highly recommended breed. They are not as rare as they actually look like. They are even regarded as albino and also have color on feet, ears, and noses and these areas are called points. This is a breed that is most suitable for the ones who live in areas with not much heat and sunlight. The points may disappear if they get exposed to too much to sunlight.
This is a breed which is quite similar to the Peruvian breed that has got a curly coat. It comes with two swirls at the rear. The coat is heavily textured, and it is not a very common breed. This is the breed that is originated from the English Peruvian Guinea Pigs. This breed is very friendly and is so adorable.
The guinea pigs are awesome companions irrespective of their breed. One should choose the guinea pig based on how much time they can spend on taking care of them. If a guinea pig with long hair is chosen as a pet, one cannot ignore its grooming.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best guinea pig breed?
The top guinea pig breeds are as follows:
American. The American is the most common breed of guinea pig. It is endowed with tiny hair and is extremely docile by nature, making it an ideal pick...especially for kids.
Peruvian.Known for its long hair, the Peruvian is perhaps the most exotic breed of guinea pigs. They are perhaps as docile and loving as the American variant.
Abyssinian.This is a rather old breed, the Abyssinian guinea pig is known for its long hair with swirls, giving it a very cute and unique look.
Other popular breeds of guinea Pig include Texel, Teddy, Baldwin and White Crested.
Which guinea pig can be considered cute?
Cuteness is a rather subjective term but going by popular vote, the Texel guinea pig breed definitely takes the cake. Known to have been originated in the UK, the Texel guinea pigs are known for their marvellous long and curly coats. Texels are mild-mannered and make amazing pets.
Which type of guinea pig is becoming extinct?
The White Crested guinea pig is perhaps the rarest breed of guinea pigs. They are predominantly golden in color and come in various coat types. Grooming is easy as they have very short hair. They are quiet creatures and keep to themselves mostly.
What is the biggest guinea pig breed?
Guinea pigs are small creatures. The biggest breed of guinea pig out there is the Rex guinea pig. Where the average adult guinea pig size typically is about 10-12 inches, the Rex guinea pig’s size at maturity is as much as 17 inches which is 1.5 times greater than the average guinea.
Which breed of guinea pig is the smallest of all?
It is difficult to specifically identify a guinea pig breed based on its size. The size factor would mostly depend on how well they are treated and taken care of after they are born. However, on average, it has been noticed that the Texel breed and the American breed are considerably a bit smaller in comparison to the others.
Long hair is the feature of which guinea pig?
The long hair attribute can be given to Peruvian guinea pig. It is believed that their hair can grow up to 14 cm long. The Peruvian breed is known to be among the oldest breeds of guinea pigs; its fur can be white, black, or red in colour. Due to its long hair, the Peruvian guinea pig needs a lot of grooming which can be quite a trying ordeal for the owner.
How do you groom the long haired guinea pigs?
Long haired guinea pigs need a lot of grooming and you need to be careful about your choice of combs. A wide-toothed comb assists in removing tangles, whereas a bristle brush helps get rid of loose hair. The bristle brush is often used to uniformly distribute the guinea pig’s natural hair oil.
Is there any hairless breeds of guinea pig?
You can find guinea pigs having little to no fur at all. There are two breeds that fall under this category: Baldwin and Skinny Pig.
Precisely, for this reason, if you are taking either of these two breeds as a pet, there is no extra maintenance required for their hair. Add to that the pleasure of holding these soft, delicate, hairless creatures in your hands. The only thing to take note of, is that they require additional care and a warm place to stay.
Which guinea pig breed has the longest average lifespan?
On an average, guinea pigs live for 5 years to a maximum of 7 years. It was a rare case when the records were broken and a guinea pig lived up to 14 years.
The hjairless breed of guinea pigs usually have a longer lifespan as they live for 7 years to a maximum of 8 years. However, factors like place of stay, care and nutrition heavily affect their longevity.
Sources and further readings
- Pets4Homes, 10 Unusual & Charming Breeds Of Guinea Pigs
- Mini Encyclopedia of Guinea Pigs Breeds and Care by Myra Mahoney (Author) (Find This Book)
- Guinea Pigs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) by Immanuel Birmelin (Author) (Find This Book)