Just minutes (literally…lol) after we came home with our guinea pig pair, Theo and Remmy, my daughter started asking all kinds of questions such as: What breed is my guinea pig?
I had no idea that there were different breeds of guinea pigs so we turned to the internet for help.
We learned that guinea pigs come in different breeds recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA) just like there are many different breeds of dogs recognized by the AKC.
The ACBA recognizes the following 13 guinea pig breeds:
|Abyssinian||Short coat, evenly spaced rosettes that stand well open.|
|Abyssinian Satin||Short coat, evenly spaced rosettes that stand well open. Satin sheen.|
|American||Short smooth coat.|
|American Satin||Short smooth coat, satin sheen.|
|Coronet||Long coat, flowing from front to back, single rosette well centered upon the forehead.|
|Peruvian||Coat grows generally back to front, multiple rosettes, mature coat covers face.|
|Peruvian Satin||Coat grows back to front from the hips forward, rosettes, satin sheen.|
|Silkie||Long coat, flowing from front to back. No rosettes.|
|Silkie Satin||Long coat, flowing from front to back, no rosettes, satin sheen.|
|Teddy||Short, dense, plush coat which is resilient to the touch and “stands up.”|
|Teddy Satin||Short, dense, plush coat which is resilient to the touch and “stands up.” Satin sheen.|
|Texel||Long coat with curls throughout, cobby body type.|
|White Crested||Short coat, single white rosette, well centered on the forehead.|
How can I tell what kind of guinea pig I have?
We started out by searching for pictures of the different guinea pig breeds and colors.
What we found is that all guinea pigs appear to have a similar body shape, size and ears.
It is their FUR that makes them different and unique to their breed.
What kinds of guinea pigs are there?
Let’s take a closer look at the different kinds of guinea pig breeds and how their different hair styles helps to tell them apart:
The Abyssinian has a special coat that creates swirls and cowlicks, commonly known as rosettes.
We learned that in order for your Abyssinian to qualify as show quality, he must have a minimum of eight rosettes that occur in a symmetrical pattern.
The coat color can range from a white body with very dark and specific patterns to a dark, almost black coat, with very light to no markings.
Unlike other long haired guinea pig that we mention below, you do not need to trim the Abyssinian coat.
The American guinea pig is the most common breed and is very popular due in part to their sweet and friendly personalities.
They have smooth, short and soft coats that lie flat and come in a variety of colors ranging from very dark to very light coats with unique patterns.
The easy to care for coat make the American guinea pig a great choice for first time owners with children.
The Coronet guinea pig has long hair that flows from front to back without a part.
A single rosette sits in the center of it’s forehead.
Because of their long hair, the Coronet breed needs to be groomed often.
The Peruvian guinea pig has a distinguished coat that parts down the back and grows forward over the head.
The hair is smooth and straight and can grow quite long – up to 2 feet!
The Peruvian requires lots of extra grooming to prevent the hair from becoming tangled or soiled.
We read that it is acceptable to trim the hair to keep it at a manageable length.
The Silkie, also known as the Sheltie, has a long silky coat that only grows backwards from the head. The hair flows from front to back without any rosettes.
Unlike the Peruvian, the Silkie’s hair does not have a natural part down the back and requires extensive grooming.
We read that the Teddy guinea pig is said to be named after the stuffed animal “teddy bear” because of their resemblance.
Teddy’s have short, dense hair that looks fuzzy and is easy to take care of.
The Texel guinea pig has long, curly hair that tangles easily making them high maintenance as pets. They are also known for being overweight.
The White Crested has short hair with a single white rosette centered on the forehead.
This is the only white found on the body.
So, what breed is my guinea pig?
After all of our research we were able to determine that our guinea pigs most definitely fit the description of the American guinea pig breed.
What breed is your guinea pig? We would love to know what breed of guinea pig you have.
Leave us a comment below.
Remmy and Theo