Maybe you already have a guinea pig but don’t know what breed they are? Or, maybe you are doing a little research first to determine which guinea pig is right for you and your family. After all, some guinea pig breeds have more care needs than others depending if you choose a long haired or short haired variety.
To us, we absolutely love all piggies as they all have their own amazing charm and personalities! We’ve put together a summary of the different types of guinea pig breeds as well as the different colouration varieties you may come across.
Complete List of Guinea Pigs Breeds
RECOGNIZED GUINEA PIG BREEDS
Guinea pig breeds are recognized differently across official regional associations. The British Cavy Council recognizes over 40 different breeds of guinea pigs while the American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes a total of 13 breeds.
American Guinea Pig
American guinea pigs are one of the most common breeds! They have amazing temperaments and personalities too so there is no wonder why they are so popular. They have short smooth coats of fur making them one of the easiest breeds to care for. These piggies tend to enjoy cuddles as they are known for being especially affectionate.
White Crested Guinea Pig
A white crested guinea pig is considered very similar to an American guinea pig. They have smooth, low maintenance coats with friendly personalities. However, it's defining feature is a single white rosette on the top of it’s head.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
Abyssinian guinea pigs are energetic and lively! Like the American breed, they can also be very affectionate and loving. They will need some grooming however as they have a beautiful arrangement of ridged and swirled hairs (also known as rosettes) along their body.
Coronet Guinea Pig
Coronet guinea pigs have long thick hair, with no parting. They have a single rosette on the top of their head. They are a loving and affectionate breed but are not as common as other long haired piggies.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
Peruvian guinea pigs have long, soft, straight hair from head to toe, that parts down the centre of their body. They have a rosette on the top of their head, which gives them the appears of having a 'cow lick' curl on their head. These pretty piggies require daily, routine grooming in order to avoid hair matting. These piggies are both playful and kind. Their pet owners regard them as being chill and laid back.
Silkie Guinea Pig
Silkie guinea pigs, also known as Shelties, have long coats of hair that start at the head and grow backwards. Like Peruvians, these piggies will also need daily routine grooming in order to keep their hair in pristine shape. They are laid back and friendly!
Teddy Guinea Pig
Teddy guinea pigs get their name for their close resemblance to stuffed teddy bears. They have a fuzzy appearance due to their short bent hairs. Teddies come in two varieties: a harsh coat or plush coat. They have great temperaments and because of their short fur, they require little grooming.
Texel Guinea Pig
Texels have beautiful long coats with spiral curls. They are said to be the breed that requires the most grooming, and should have routine brushing on a daily basis. They are friendly and curious piggies, with wonderful personalities. They are not recommended for beginners or inexperienced pet owners.
Satin Guinea Pigs
Satin is noted as a recognized trait of guinea pigs that can occur in a variety of breeds of piggies such as Abyssinian, American, Peruvian, Silkie and Teddy. Breeds with this trait have fur that appears, you guessed it, "satin": a characteristic that makes their hair shiny. This trait however has been noted to be a sign of a serious medical disorder called osteodystrophy, which is a metabolic bone disease; this causes their bones to be brittle and soft. Guinea pigs with this disorder are often in lots of pain and discomfort. It sadly results in a reduced lifespan followed by potential development of an array of other health concerns: dental disease, difficulty moving, and more. For more information on this disorder, Scotty’s Animals share’s his guinea pig’s story.
UNRECOGNIZED GUINEA PIG BREEDS
The following guinea pigs breeds are not widely recognized by guinea pig associations, such as the ACBA:
- Skinny pigs*
Skinny Guinea Pig
Skinnies, or skinny pigs, are a hairless variety of guinea pigs. Skinny Pigs are often debated if they should be included as a recognized breed as they have originated from a lab setting for the purpose of testing.
For the most part, these piggies are hairless across their body with the exception of some hairs on their nose, paws, and in some cases, a few hairs on their backs. They are considered a good breed for allergy sufferers and for that reason, do not require any grooming. They are however sensitive to temperature changes so pet owners are encouraged to select this breed only if they are experienced.
Baldwins are another variety of hairless guinea pigs. They differ from the traditional skinny pigs as they are originally born with a full body of hair, however, they completely lose their hair a few days after birth
Recap of Guinea Pig Breeds
In summary, here is a list of guinea pig breeds:
- Silkie (Sheltie)
- Skinny pigs
- White Crested
COLOUR VARIATIONS OF GUINEA PIGS
Guinea pigs are like rainbows, they come in so many different shapes, sizes, and of course, so many different colours and fur patterns. Below, we have outlined the most common piggy colours and fur arrangements.
Solid coloured variations
Self guinea pigs
Self guinea pigs are the same colour all over with eyes that are either black/red.
Mixed Patterned Variations
Guinea pigs can also have colours that are mixed:
Agouti Guinea Pigs
Agouti guinea pigs have two different colours on each strand of hair. Their fur is two toned to create a beautiful mixture such as:
- Agouti silver
- Agouti chocolate
- Agouti cream
- Agouti lemon
- Agouti cinnamon
Roan and Dalmatian Guinea Pigs
Roan and Dalmatian varieties have darker coloured heads compare dto the rest of their bodies with white hairs mixed with a base colour.
- Dalmatian guinea pigs are black and white
- Roan guinea pigs are white with any base colour
Fox and Tan Guinea Pigs
Fox and Tan guinea pigs have hair that is tan or white on their belly, around their eyes, and muzzle.
- Tan guinea pigs have tan fur in the above areas
- Fox guinea pigs have white fur in the above areas
Other Notable Guinea Pig Markings
- Dutch Guinea Pigs: white marking patches with other colours
- Himalayan Guinea Pigs: have white fur with the exception of black or chocolate ears, nose and feet
- Tortoiseshell Guinea Pigs: closely resembling a tortoiseshell cat, they have black and red blocks of hair. Can also be Tortoise pattern and white.
Recap of Guinea Pig Colours and Markings
In summary, here is a list of the above mentioned colours and markings of guinea pig:
- Tortoiseshell White