Here you can find a brief guide to the different guinea pig breeds.
There are now more than twenty-five different breeds of guinea pig
as over the years skilled breeders have taken guinea pigs with slightly
different colours and marking and bred them together. However, there
are a number of cross-breeds and mixes are breeds which make just
as good pets as the pedigrees.
Marked guinea pigs have two or more colours
and are found in short, long
and rough haired and even hairless
These guinea pigs are all one colour (solid colour) and have a
smooth coat. They are availible in a range of colours, from golden
to chocolate, cream to black and each colour is regognised as a separate
The most well known of these is the Peruvian variety. They have very
long silky hair, usually down to the floor and covering their face.
They require constant grooming and a lot of time to keep their hair
clean and as such are not recommended as pets for children.
The Sheltie and Coronet are similar to the Peruvian, however the
Sheltie has its hair growing away from the face and around the body.
The Coronet is like a Sheltie with a crest on its head.
part Abbasyniaan and part Peruvian
A coronet guinea pig
An English guinea pig
Short haired guinea pigs have short, smooth, and silkly/shiney
hair. They do not need the same amount of grooming as the long haired
varietys but regular grooming is needed to prevent their coat from
getting matted and to help keep it clean. There are many variety of
the short haired guinea pig for example the English Crested where
the crest on the head is the same colour as the rest of the body,
which can be a range of colours.
The Agouti most resembles the native South American cavy. It has
a speckled effect throughout the body as a result of different colours
on each individual hair. They are found in gold, silver, salmon, lemon
Haired and Roseetted
Abyssinian guinea pigs are the most common of the rough-haired pets.
Their hair sticks out in rosette patterns. Pure bred Abyssinians should
have ten rosettes: four on the hindquarters, four around the 'saddle'
and one on each shoulder. However other paterns of rosettes look just
as good. They appear in a range of colours as well as the 'selfs'
and 'marked' colours.
a skinny guinea pig
Hairless, Skinny and Baldwin
As their name surgests, hairless guinea pigs have no or little
hair. They are mainly found in Armerica but are likely to be seen
in Europe and the rest of the world soon.
The Skinny guinea pig has wiry, frizzy hair on their
head, face and paws and sometime have hair on the backs and rest of
body too but generally look hairless and skinny, hence their name.
The Baldwin guinea pig is completely hairless. Babies
are sometimes born with hair but this usually falls off as they grow.
Saturday, 12 November, 2005
© Alexander Pimm 2005