Guinea pigs are also known as Cavy is a very popular pocket pet, originated from South America. They have been domesticated from the 16th century in Europe and most parts of America and gradually other continents.
The main reason being for their fame or demand is that they are very friendly, small and extremely adorable, easy to handle and it requires relatively less maintenance and care.
Guinea pigs are herbivores (plant eating). They have been bred by scientists and breeders over the years and have created many types of Guinea Pigs breeds, these guinea pig breeds vary basically in their fur type, size and color and their behavior in most cases remains the same.
Guinea pigs are so adorable pet and lovely and their amazing varieties will surely make it hard for you to choose any one particular breed.
So, the most common guinea pig breeds are as follows:
White Crested Guinea Pig
White Crested guinea pigs are named because of the “crown” like a crest on its head, this breed is almost similar to the American guinea pig in shape, size and color.
So they can be only spotted or differentiated by the white crest on its head. The White Crested comes in a range of coat types, such as brindle, roan and agouti.
They are really calm and gentle and easily associate with other breeds and become very friendly with people. They are easy to take care and do not require much grooming.
But another factor is that they are not as common as the American breed you need to really look over places if you actually want one.
Texel Guinea Pig
If you want a show stopper or Princess Diana-like exotic and elegant guinea pig, Texel guinea pig is that grade breed.
They are extremely graceful and friendly. Unlike other guinea pig breeds, this breed requires the most effort in maintenance which starts from its beautiful locks and curls of hair all over its body.
Their coat consists of long soft and wavy hair that must be properly and carefully groomed or else it could get tangled easily and tangled hair could be really irritating for the cavy as well as the owner.
And this makes it unsuitable for the kid to play with or raise it as a pet.
Texel guinea pig life span: Texel can live up to 5-7 years.
Texel guinea pig is the best competitor for any pet show or if you are an exotic pet lover this is for you!
Teddy Guinea Pig
The name teddy is given due to its uncanny resemblance with the teddy bear toy in terms of coat and shape of the nose.
Teddy Guinea Pig has a very short coat and dense coat. Unlike the Silkie or Texel, they do not need regular brushing or grooming. And this makes it ideal for kids and people who aren’t a fan of grooming pets.
They can be easily distinguished due to their unique type of inverted nose which is also known as “RomanNose”. Just like most breeds they are also very polite and friendly!
Skinny Guinea Pig
The most unique breed among the guinea pig. They are almost completely hairless except they have little patches of hair in some areas of the body.
They do not require grooming and no hair issues. However, their skin is sensitive and needs to be taken care of.
Skinny Guinea Pig has a very sweet personality, they socialize well they are very loving and friendly. Some people may not like it because of their appearance but the ones who want the personality go for the Skinny. The baby skinny pig looks so adorable.
Silkie Guinea Pig
Silkie and Peruvians guinea pig is very much alike as they have similar coats and long straight hair. But they are distinguishable as they differ in body shape and size. And the most unique feature of the Silkie is that the hair over their head grows backward directing towards its back which in Peruvian is very messy as their hair grows in a dismantled direction.
This unique style of the Silkie makes it more appealing and groomed naturally. But some may also prefer messy hair.
Silkie Guinea Pig is very gentle, calm and friendly, but may require a little extra time in getting along.
Silkie Guinea Pig is also nicknamed “Hollywood Cavy” because of its style and charm.
Rex Guinea Pig
Rex has a very short hair coat. Their coat is dense and rough like the Teddy. Their unique feature is that they have drop ears. The coat, however, has a con that is, they do not have guard hair that most almost all breeds have.
This hair helps in maintaining the main coat they also help in retaining or preventing excessive moisture. They are very friendly and loving. Recommended for kids.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
Peruvian is one of its kind unique and magnificent. Unlike other breeds, they have a lot of straighter hair.
And probably they have the longest hair coat compared to all other breeds.
This long hair is very much prone to be tangled and collect dirt or sticky substances, so they require special care and maintenance.
You may also trim their hair if you find it too difficult to maintain or even tired of regular brushing and grooming.
They tend to be very polite when it comes to terms of socializing they are extremely curious and alert otherwise. Peruvian guinea pig personality is something that anyone will fall in love with. They are not recommended for kids as they may not be able to handle their hair.
Confused about guinea pigs and gerbils? See the difference between guinea pigs and gerbils.
Himalayan Guinea Pig
The name suggests that this breed is related to or origin of the Himalayas but the Himalayan does not originate from the Himalayas.
They are called Himalayan because of the color while like the snow on the mountain they have black spots on the nose and on the feet. They also have red eyes.
They are also known as “Siamese cats” of the guinea pigs because of their color pattern.
They socialize really well with others and are really polite and friendly.
If you pet guinea pigs then check this guinea pig food list
American Guinea Pig
When someone generally thinks of guinea pigs, the first image that you get in your mind is probably the American breed. Probably the most common breed, they are seen in movies and cartoons which justifies its popularity among all ages.
These pigs are very decent and calm they can be easily tamed. Children and adults both can easily handle them without requiring difficult maintenance.
They socialize with other pigs really well and friendly tolerate others in their domain or within an enclosure.
They have short hair and that does not get tangled and does not require much grooming time.
10. Abyssinian Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian is one of the most majestic and charming breeds among the other breeds of guinea pigs. They come in some bold colors. And its iconic features being its coat with swirly hair that is basically known as rosettes.
And these rosettes make them a very strong contender for pet shows, the more rosettes the more chances of it to win. The Abyssinian generally have 6 rosettes.
Talking about their personality they are very mischievous and naughty which makes it very entertaining to watch. They are very friendly and kind too.
Abyssinian is not recommended for kids as they require adequate grooming and maintenance!
11. Alpaca Guinea Pig
Alpacas are very much like the Texels, they have dense and wavy hair but is very much shorter in comparison. And yes, they need to be properly groomed, hair untangled and brushed. They are really cute and playful.
12. Baldwin Guinea Pig
Baldwin belongs to the category of the skinny guinea pig. As the name suggests “Baldwin” is completely bald.
They are sweet and friendly little creatures. And they are for the ones who appreciate inner beauty rather than external beauty.
They are quite sensitive and they should be kept indoors and warm. It does not require special grooming. They can live up to 6 years.
13. Coronet Guinea Pig
Coronet is another long haired breed like the Silkie. It has a very dense and voluminous coat that requires regular brushing and grooming.
Just like the white-crested guinea pig they too have a crest on their head which may or may not be white in color.
They are playful and curious, and they really get along with other breeds and their owners.
14. Merino Guinea Pig
Merinos are actually a variation of the coronet with curly and dense hair. Its coat is similar to that of a sheep’s coat in appearance.
They have short fur on the head region and comparatively longer in the rest of the body. They have 2 rosettes on their hip region.
They require regular grooming and brushing. Not recommended for little kids.
They love playing around and may require a larger space.
15. Lunkarya Guinea Pig
Lunkarya nicknamed Lunk is a long haired guinea pig breed. They have very thick and long curly hair which usually looks messy.
They are really curious, pretty and loving, they love to play and being held.
They are a little too hard to groom because of the density of their coat. They are perfect for cold countries or places but they may find extreme temperatures or summers hard to survive.
Tips on choosing a guinea pig breed
- Always purchase more than one pig because most of them do not like living a solitary life, they may need a companion.
- If you are planning to get it for a young kid and let it raise it on their own without your much involvement, always go for the ones requiring less care and maintenance teddy, or American or maybe the hairless ones like Baldwin or skinny
- Long haired breeds like Silkie or Peruvian are for older kids or best for adults. They should be regularly groomed or you may also trim the hair if required or according to your preference.
- There is no right or wrong breed of guinea pigs. It’s that you have to choose what you think is perfect for you. Almost all breeds have similar characters or personalities. They will only differ in appearance that’s it.
We hope we have helped you by providing enough information on the different breeds of guinea pigs!
So, best wishes in choosing the right breed. We hope you find the one that is perfect for you or the dedicated person!