March 9, 2023 by Umair Shahid
There are many varieties of guinea pig breeds including long-haired and short-haired. American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes 13 different breeds. According to my experience as a vet, one type of guinea pig is different from another type.
In this article, we will discuss all 13 types one by one.
There are many varieties of guinea pig breed but we categorize them according to rarity.
If you are convinced to adopt a guinea pig as a pet then you must know about its breed. It will help you to choose the best one of your choice.
Most people have no idea about the different types of these rodents. When they think about guinea pigs they think only guinea pigs,
Not all of these 13 breeds are commonly kept as pets. You may not see some of the rodents mention on the list. If you are interested to know about different types of guinea breeds then I will introduce you to every member of this family.
We can split the guinea pig breed according to the following types.
- Smooth coat fur
- Long coat fur
1. Smooth coat fur
According to smooth coat fur, we have three types
- American crested
Now we discuss them one by one.
This type of guinea pig breed has short smooth fur. Normally they are found in one color. They are also famous as American or English short hair guinea pigs.
Furthermore, they do not require regular grooming or trimming of hair like a long-haired guinea pig.
This type is the oldest breed of guinea pig. They are domesticated in 5000 BC for the first time.
Originally known as the English guinea pig and the American guinea pig in the 1960s.
American crested breed resembles the English Crested Guinea pig. It has a crown on its head which is a different color from the rest of the body.
Normally the color of the crown is white but it can differ.
Their crown makes them adorable. They are adopted as a pet. They are available in the white crown and black body or white crown brown or red body.
They come in 19 different color classifications. Their coats are short and silky. These guinea pigs are very sweet and docile, which explains their popularity.
If you just start as a pet owner then this breed is excellent to own.
Ridgeback guinea pig breed.
This type of breed has a raised ridge on its back coat. It is available in many colors. This type of guinea pig is not a common breed.
This type originated in America.
2. LONG COAT FUR
1. Sheltie guinea pig.
Sheltie guinea pig is commonly known as Silkies. They are a long-haired breed. The sheltie breed first came about in the 1970 and was created by crossing the long-haired Peruvian and the self-black.
They have long dense and straight fur. The short fur on their head looks like someone has used hair gel to style their hair. Their hair does not fall on their face. Their life span is 4-6 years.
Shelties are very even-tempered and calm animals. They are not too mixed up with each other human. They are reserved as compared to other animals.
According to the vet, the sheltie needs space. Lots of space you may say. Most people think that a big cage can fulfill their requirements.
Firstly a cage can never be big enough. Secondly, sheltie guinea pigs need exercise outside the cage for their good health.
Their long fur should regularly be carefully cleaned using a small brush.
If their fur coat drag along the ground, it’s time to trim. Take care of their fur if they move freely. Their fur may stuck with anything and get wet and dirty.
2. Peruvian guinea pig:
Peruvian guinea pigs are considered the best long-haired breed of guinea. It is difficult to tell which side the head is on.
Long hair, requires great care. They need proper grooming, bathing, and brushing to keep their fur beautiful and tidy.
They need proper play and exercise time. If they get bored or fed up with their routine they start chewing the fur of their companion.
They are mostly bred as a show animals. Their fur can be as long as 12-14 inches. They are beautiful and eye-catching if cared for properly.
Peruvian guinea pigs were one of the first breeds to be selectively bred.
The food that you give to your Peruvian guinea pig greatly affects its hair and skin health. Omega -3 fatty acids are essential for all guinea pigs.
Sometimes vegetables and leafy greens are also a great addition to a guinea’s diet. But too much fresh fruit is not good because they have high sugar content.
3. Texel guinea pig
Texel guinea pig is another long-coated fur variety of guinea pig. It is also the newest breed of guinea pig. They are recognized in the 1990s.
They are famous for their sweet nature and long curly coat fur. Their curly fur required great care and a larger responsibility.
They are gentle, affectionate calm, and friendly-natured. Their life span is 5-10 years. Their size is normally 8-10 inches.
Their breed was created by crossing a British Rex with the sheltie guinea pig. The curly-haired Texel variety was officially recognized by American Cavy Breeders Association in 1988.
This British breed is known for its dominance as a show guinea pig. They are less commonly kept as pets.
4. Alpaca guinea pig
Alpaca guinea pigs are also a long-haired breed. They resemble Peruvian guinea pigs with wavy ends. Their fur is not much long but dense and coarse.
The difference between the Texel and the Alpaca breeds is that the Alpaca breed has bangs that hang forward while the Texel does not have bangs.
Alpaca guinea pigs are quite rare, that’s why they have a high price.
They get their name from South American Alpaca Camelid because the two animals have a similar style of dense, curly hair.
The long thick hair of the Alpaca guinea pigs requires daily maintenance to keep it free of tangles.
Any Alpaca guinea pig owner will need patience, time, and a soft brush.
These rodents can live up to 8 years. It means you have enough time to spend with your pet.
5.Coronet guinea pig
These little animals came about as a result of the breeding of American crested guinea pigs with sheltie guinea pigs in England in the mid-’70s.
Coronets have long, flowing manes that grow backward down their bodies. These rodents are extremely sweet and lovable.
Coronets strongly resemble the sheltie guinea pig. The former has a coronet in the middle of his head, so name it coronet guinea pig.
The coronet is an average-sized guinea pig whose size is between 8-16 inches. Their weight is between 1 to 3 pounds. Coronets are sexually dimorphic with males being larger than females.
The coronet has a small rosette on its head and silky hair flows backward from its face.
Coronet is playful and fun-loving, and his trait of socializing makes him loveable. The coronet’s easy-going nature allows it to be comfortable in just about any situation. It has a great temperament which makes it show animal.
Here are some of the tips to take care of a coronet guinea pig
- Daily brushing is necessary for the long flowing coat to keep healthy and beautiful.
- Regular bathing is required for Coronet’s long flowing manes.
- Regular trimming of nails and long coat fur is another important factor in a healthy coronet guinea pig.
- Long coat guinea pig breeds are susceptible to ear infections due to wax buildup. To avoid serious problems visit your vet regularly.
Additionally, clean their outer ear every week.
Keep an eye on the food and balance nutritious values.
They need the proper time of their owner. They do not like to live alone. They are also curious and affectionate, which makes them an excellent companion.
6. Sheba guinea pig
The Sheba guinea pig is famous as the “Sheba mini yak” because his hairstyle closely resembled that animal.
It is also commented as a bad hair guinea pig. Their shaggy hair makes them instantly recognized. Sheba guinea pig does not require constant care.
This breed originated in Australia in the 1960s and is a cross between a Peruvian guinea pig and short haired Abyssinian guinea pig.
Sheba guinea pig is one of the oldest recognized breeds. This unique breed yet has to attain a formal standard among breed registries and is not officially recognized.
Despite their name, guinea pigs don’t come from guinea but originate from the Andes region in South America. This particular breed of guinea pig originated in Australia.
Some of the guineas chew their fur and their companion. They do this just for fun and play.
While short-haired guineas’ fur does not grow constantly. Some long-haired guinea pig fur can grow 2.5cm a month. Sheba’s long fur also grows like that.
Their fur does not require constant maintenance as long-haired required.
Their weight is considered 700-1200 grams. The life span of a Sheba guinea pig is 5-7 years. They are in many colors like Rosette, tricolor, solid, and tortoiseshell.
They are highly social and playful but can be slightly skittish.
7. Merino guinea pig
The Merino guinea pig has curly hair. It has cute, long, soft, and curly hair. When you touch you feel woolly and bouncy fur on their body.
The fur on the head is quite short as compared to the body. It has a single rosette on his forehead.
The Merino is often mistaken for the Texel as it also has gorgeous curls. Is there any difference between them? The Merino has a crest, while the Texel doesn’t.
Texel and Merino are apart if you observe closely. When we talk about its fur colors there is no limit.
Fur should be groomed regularly with a plastic comb. This guinea pig tries to clean its fur but it cannot reach everywhere.
Use a pair of round scissors to trim the coat once or twice a week. Don’t use a metal comb it will pull out the fur of your guinea pig.
As a long-haired guinea pig, the Merino is not suitable for keeping outside.
8. Lunkarya guinea pig
The Lunkarya guinea pig is also known as “Lunk”. This breed originated from Sweden. They are quite rare in most parts of the world. Because of odd variations, they decided to breed him, and thus the Lunkarya breed came into being.
The name “Lunkarya” was formed by combining “Lundqvist” and rya. It is the last name of the first people that found and developed the breed, while the other part rya means sheep in Swedish, likely because of the curly hair of this breed.
The Lunkarya breed is quite similar to the Texel breed in terms of long coat fur. Its curly coat gives him a dense and tough structure.
The Lunkarya guinea pig is gentle and well-mannered. It is very easy to handle due to its calm temperament.
They like to live with a companion. So when you adopt a pet then adopt in pair.
3. Hairless Guinea Pig Breed
Baldwin guinea pig
Baldwin guinea pig. This type of guinea pig is completely hairless. They have hairs on their nose and paws only. If At an early age that falls out completely.
Baldwin guinea pig has a length of 8-12 inches and their weight is 700-1200 grams. This type of guinea pig lives about 5-7 years.
The Baldwin guinea pig is a unique and rare breed that has no hair. A recessive gene is responsible for the hairlessness of the Baldwin guinea pig.
Baldwin guinea pig is rare but not as hard to find as others. You can buy them for under $100.
There are some facts about Baldwin’s guinea pig
Baldwin has a rubbery texture with lots of wrinkles and floppy ears.
They are easy and intelligent pets. As they have no hair so less maintenance is required.
Children love Baldwin guinea pigs because they are easy to handle and learn tricks quickly.
Baldwin guinea pigs are born with hair. After two months all hair has fallen out.
They are friendly, energetic, and intelligent. They love the company of humans and other guinea pigs.
Skinny Guinea Pig.
When we think about a guinea pig the picture that comes to our mind is thick fur on the body and adorable noses. Now imagine a guinea pig with all other qualities except fur.
You have imagined a skinny guinea pig. They are famous as a hairless guinea pigs. They are just like other guinea pigs except for no hair or very little hair.
They lived for 5-7 years. Their size is almost 9-12 inches with 1, 2 pounds of weight.
In addition to being wonderful pets, their lack of fur makes them ideal for lab use, especially in dermatological studies. The reason is that their skin is quite similar to human beings.
All skinny guinea pigs are not hairless. Some have bits of hairs on their feet, legs, back, and muzzles. Generally, most of the skin is bare.
We try to discuss all possible types of guinea pig breeds. Although there are many more types according to rough coat fur and colorations can be discussed.
People Also Ask
QNO.1: What is the best guinea pig breed?
Answer: All of the breeds are the best. Personality-wise though American crest guinea pigs will always be the most laidback sweetest pigs. Coronet guinea pigs are the best with looks.
They have long hair and bushy eyebrows that give them a lot of character. It all depends if you want very chill or very energetic guinea pigs. There are also the best guinea pigs regarding hairstyles and coloring. It all has to do with personal preferences.
QNO.2: Is Baldwin guinea pig good for families?
Answer: Yes, Baldwin guinea pigs are low maintenance and they do not require constant grooming like many other breeds.
They are friendly, don’t bite or scratch, and children enjoy with them. They are great pets for the whole family.
QNO.3: What to feed hairless guinea pigs?
Answer: Hairless guinea pig is not different from other pigs except for the hair. Their diet consists of fresh grass and some other low fiber variety.
This diet not only fulfills the nutrition that they need but gnawing on hay also helps file down their teeth.
We hope you have enjoyed this interesting in-depth look at the variety of guinea pig breeds. If you like pets that always like to stay close to you. This is the right pet for you.
You might find it difficult to pick just one guinea pig with such a wide range of beautiful breeds, coat types, and color choices to choose from.
These adorable animals are social creatures. You can keep them in small groups of the same gender in some cases.
Start with one from your favorite breed, then consider getting a friend to keep your pet company. Their playful activities will surely keep you entertained.
As we have provided you the complete detail about each breed. It depends on your chosen time and space feasibility to choose the type of guinea pig.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.