Guinea pigs are great pets and are a good choice if you want to help your kids get used to having a pet. There are many different breeds and colors of guinea pigs to choose from. They are also adorable and easy to care for. But a few breeds of guinea pigs are very rare and in high demand. In this article, we will discuss almost all the guinea pig breeds and their salient features.
Almost all guinea pig owners know there are so many distinct breeds of guinea pigs and various coat variants selecting the right one might seem impossible. So, here is a list of popular, unpopular, hairless, rare, and unrecognized breeds of guinea pigs to help you decide which suits you best.
Popular Recognized Guinea Pig Breeds
American Short-haired Guinea Pig
The American Short-haired guinea pig is the most prevalent type and is often considered the most distinctive type. This piglet has a very short and dense coat that demands very little maintenance in brushing and combing. In general, America Short-haired guinea pigs are excellent pets for young children since they like being handled, have a very peaceful disposition, and get along well with other piggies. In addition, they have shorter coats than other guinea pig breeds.
They range from around eight to twelve inches and may be found in several hues, including white, black, and brown.
White Crested Guinea Pig
The White Crested guinea pig resembles the American guinea pig in every way except for a tuft of hair on its head that is a different color. The crest is often white, and the breed standard requires that no additional white hair be seen on the body.
White Crested guinea pigs are excellent pets since they adjust fast to being handled and rapidly learn how to socialize with their human family.
Silkie Guinea Pig
The Silkie guinea pig is known for having long, soft fur that falls in waves. These guinea pigs have hair that may grow up to 10 inches in length, and to keep their hair in healthy condition, they need to have it groomed regularly. They are available in various colors, including black, white, and brown.
Silkie guinea pigs are noted for having characteristics that are known for being quiet and kind. They take pleasure in being held and petted, and because of this, they make wonderful pets for anyone who is searching for a loving and calm companion.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian guinea pig is well-known for its distinctive fur pattern covering its body. These guinea pigs have hair that is short and curly, and it creates rosettes over their entire bodies. They are available in various colors, from black and white to tan and brown.
Abyssinian guinea pigs are famous for their unlimited activity and inquisitive natures. They love discovering new places and having fun; you can never catch them sitting still for long. They are fantastic pets for anyone seeking an active and lively companion, but they can be a bit more challenging to handle than other guinea pigs. They are ideal for people who have a lot of energy.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
It is common knowledge that the Peruvian guinea pig has luxuriously long hair. These pets have hair that may reach a length of up to 20 inches, and to keep their hair in healthy condition, they need to have it groomed on a regular basis.
A Peruvian guinea pig’s peaceful and kind nature is one of its most recognizable traits. They like to be held and cuddled and are excellent pets for people who want a quiet and loving pet.
Coronet Guinea Pig
The Coronet guinea pig is a hybrid between the Silkie and the Crested. It resembles a Silkie in that its hair is long and straight, but on its head, it has the rosette “crown” of a Crested guinea pig instead. This hybrid was first developed in England, and its members may be recognized by the variety of colors and patterns found on their coats. These charming guinea pigs are known to have pleasant temperaments and are simple to care for. Because of their long, flowing hair, they must get haircuts and groom themselves often. Thus, they are probably ideal for older children and adults due to the need for regular grooming practices.
Texel Guinea Pig
Texel guinea pigs have long, curly, soft hair that curls down their backs in ringlets. The look of their skulls is often broader and more rounded overall. Because Texels are beautiful and unique, they are often chosen as “show” pigs. Keeping them looking their best takes a lot of time and effort.
Teddy Guinea Pig
The fur of the Teddy guinea pig is very thick and velvety to the touch. These guinea pigs have hair that sticks up all over their bodies, which gives them the impression of being a “teddy bear.” They are available in a wide range of colors. Teddy guinea pigs are recognized for their calm and amiable personalities.
Hairless Guinea Pigs
Skinny Guinea Pig
The hairless Skinny guinea pig is a special breed distinct from others. The skin on these guinea pigs is wrinkled, and their noses and feet have a thin layer of hair.
Skinny guinea pigs’ friendly and adventurous natures are well-known characteristics of this breed. They take pleasure in the company of both people and other guinea pigs. As a result, they make excellent companions for anyone who is searching for an animal that is both interactive and interesting.
Baldwin Guinea Pig
Baldwins are hairless guinea pigs that were first bred in California. They have an average lifespan of about four years. These hairless guineas should never be allowed outside to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.
It’s interesting to note that Baldwin guinea pigs are born with healthy coats but progressively lose them over a few months. Baldwin guinea pigs are best for experienced owners because they don’t have hair and could have health problems.
Rare Breeds of Guinea Pigs
All kinds of guinea pigs are cute and need care and love from their owners. But not all guinea pig breeds are easy to find in the homes of guinea pig lovers. Even if you’ve had cute buddies for years, some exotic guinea pig breeds may be new.
Brazilian Guinea Pig
The Brazilian guinea pig is related to the guinea pigs we keep as pets. Despite their name, they are not only found in Brazil. The brown and black fur of the Brazilian guinea pig is great for hiding.
The primary reason for keeping Brazilian guinea pigs as pets is for their meat. The beautiful piglets have also been successfully mated with their more domesticated relatives, although the female piglets are typically infertile.
The Brazilian guinea pig has a tail that is just 2.4 millimeters long and is so tiny that it is practically undetectable. Since they are rarely maintained as pets, Brazilian guinea pigs are considered one of the rarer kinds of guinea pigs. Nonetheless, there are many of them roaming free in their natural habitat.
The magpie guinea pig is not a different breed; it just has a different color coat. White and black spots may be found on their coats, and the black and white hairs can be entangled in some areas.
The coats of magpies can be short, rough, and very thick like that of Teddy guinea pigs, or they can be short, smooth, and silky like those of other species.
Unrecognized Guinea Pig Breeds
Merino Guinea Pig
The Merino guinea pig resembles the Coronet in appearance, especially its long, curling hair. It needs frequent grooming like other long-haired guinea pigs and has a crest on its forehead. Certain Merinos have been known to have hair that is longer and curlier than others, giving them the appearance of being miniature sheep. It’s not entirely known where they came from, but like other guinea pigs, they have cheerful personalities and are curious creatures. If they are not groomed regularly, their wavy coat will get entangled and full of dirt, and they will become unmanageable. Also, cut the hair around their bottoms to keep them clean.
Alpaca Guinea Pig
The Alpaca guinea pig is most accurately compared to a Peruvian guinea pig curled up. Since they have long, curly hair, people sometimes confuse them with Texel guinea pigs. Nevertheless, the hair on an alpaca’s head hangs front, whereas the hair on a Texel guinea pig falls backward from its head.
In addition to having such long hair, an Alpaca guinea pig frequently has a single rosette on the top of its head, and it may have more rosettes down its body. They need regular grooming and should not be kept outside.
Rex Guinea Pig
Rex guinea pigs have short hair no longer than half an inch. Because the coat lacks guard hairs, it has the impression of being wooly and fuzzy instead of smooth and sleek.
Rex guinea pigs are amiable, friendly, and cuddly animals that are simple to care for and make excellent pets for first-time pet owners and professionals. They can survive for up to six years in the right conditions and are quite strong.
Ridgeback Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian guinea pig is the parent breed of the Ridgeback guinea pig. Ridgeback guinea pigs have a single rosette on each side of their back, making their hair stick up. The cute tiny mohawks running up their backs are a perfect example.
Ridgeback guinea pigs don’t always have mohawks when they’re born. Sometimes, they grow them when they’re a few weeks old. These cute creatures are friendly and like to be petted, which makes them great pets.
Guinea Pig Markings
Guinea pigs, in addition to the breed kinds they come in, are also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, which may make them an even more distinctive and exciting choice as pets. The following are some typical markings found in guinea pigs:
- Solid: Guinea pigs with a single-color coat, like black, white, or brown, are called “solid.”
- Self: A guinea pig that is self-colored has a solid color coat, but its eyes and ears are a slightly different color. For instance, a guinea pig born with a black coat may have a darker shade of black around its eyes and ears than the rest of its body.
- Brindle: Brindle guinea pigs have striped coats that mix different colors.
- Roan: Roan guinea pigs have a coat that is a mixture of white hairs and colored hairs, which gives them the impression of being speckled or mottled. Roan guinea pigs are the most common type of guinea pig.
- Tortoiseshell: The coats of tortoiseshell guinea pigs are a random mix of black, white, and brown hairs.
- Dalmatian: The coat of a Dalmatian guinea pig is white with black spots, just like the coat of a Dalmatian dog.
- Himalayan: Himalayan guinea pigs have dark spots on their nose, ears, feet, and tail. Their fur is white.
- Dutch: Dutch guinea pigs have white fur with a colored stripe down the middle of their backs and colored markings on their face and feet.
- Crested: Crested guinea pigs have a single curl of hair on their forehead, making them look like they have a tiny mohawk.
These are some of the most common markings on guinea pigs. Because of the wide range of possible colorings and patterns, guinea pigs each have their own distinct appearance, which makes them even more desirable as pets.
Guinea Pig Colours
Guinea pigs come in many colors, though some breeds may have a smaller color range. The following are some of the most popular colors for guinea pigs:
- White: Guinea pigs with a white coat are quite rare. Yet, many guinea pigs have white fur and various colors on their bodies.
- Black: Guinea pigs usually have black fur. They may be completely black, or they may have marks of white or other colors on them.
- Brown: Guinea pigs with brown fur can have various colors, ranging from a very light tan to a dark chocolate brown.
- Grey: Guinea pigs can have grey fur anywhere from light silver to dark charcoal.
- Red: Guinea pigs with reddish-brown fur aren’t very common, but they exist.
- Tan: Guinea pigs with tan fur are a darker version of the cream color.
- Golden: The color of the fur of guinea pigs with a golden coat can range from a pale yellowish-gold to a dark coppery brown.
- Cinnamon: Guinea pigs with cinnamon-colored fur have a reddish-brown tone.
- Chocolate: Guinea pigs with chocolate-colored fur are rich and dark brown.
- Agouti: Guinea pigs with agouti coloring have bands of different colors on their hair shafts, giving them a “salt and pepper” look.
- Albino: Guinea pigs that are albino have pink eyes and white fur.
These are only some of the most frequent colors found in guinea pigs; however, many other color combinations and variants exist. The color of a guinea pig’s coat is only one of the numerous characteristics that set them apart from other pets and contribute to their admirable qualities as companion animals.
Which Breed of Guinea Pig is Friendliest?
Guinea pigs are wonderful companion animals for people of any age, including children. Although most varieties of guinea pigs are friendly and like interacting with their owners, Abyssinian guinea pigs are known for being the most friendly of the group.
The Abyssinian guinea pig enjoys being cuddled and can be readily trained to be handled by both adults and children. Remember that Abyssinians might have excessive energy and be too sensitive for youngsters.
We hope you enjoy reading about different guinea pig breeds. All the guinea pig breeds are unique and different with amazing different features. But, regardless of their breed, when it comes to their diet, guinea pigs should be provided with a consistent supply of hay of good quality, guinea pig pellets containing vitamin C, and leafy greens such as parsley, lettuce, or spinach. They will also need an adequate size enclosure and should be cleaned once per week.