Guinea Pig Breeds: Hair Types and Colors
If you want to adopt a guinea pig as a pet you should take some things into consideration, such as how long will it live for and how to prepare its cage to fulfill all its needs and ensure a long and happy life.
Did you know there are different breeds of guinea pig? They all have different traits, but they're usually classified according to their hair types and colors: Guinea pigs are long-haired, short-haired or hairless.
Stay with us at AnimalWised and learn all about guinea pig breeds: Discover which one is the best for you, and don't forget to comment and share pictures of your guinea pigs so that other readers can learn about them too.
Long-haired guinea pigs
Peruvian guinea pig
This guinea pig breed is very popular because of the softness and length of its hair. If you let a Peruvian guinea pig's hair grow, it could reach 30 cm (12 in). This breed is perfect for people who can devote a lot of time to cutting and styling their guinea pig, but it is not suitable for those who do not have time to maintain it.
Peruvian guinea pigs have three swirls or cowlicks that determine the growth direction of their hair, which gives them a very unique and kind of funny appearance.
Abyssinian guinea pig
This breed is a popular choice, and it's also called "Rosette guinea pig". Unlike the previous guinea pig, the hair of Abyssinian guinea pigs does not grow excessively, but it does so in a peculiar way.
The infinite swirls or cowlicks make their hair look spiky and voluminous. Abyssinian guinea pigs are usually very active and affectionate guinea pigs, and their fur needs regularly looking after.
Coronet guinea pig
This guinea pig breed has long fur, like the previous ones, but you can see how it grows excessively on the head. Its body hair is also long, but there is not that much of it.
You should care for a coronet guinea pig's fur every day to prevent tangles and dirt from accumulating.
Sheltie guinea pig
Also known as "Silkie", this guinea pig has long fur that is very similar to the Peruvian guinea pig. You can differentiate between the two breeds thanks to their hair growth, which in the Sheltie guinea pig's case, grows from the head to the torso.
It is essential to comb this guinea pig breed's fur on a daily basis and trim it if it grows too long.
Hairless guinea pigs
Skinny pigs are not actually a guinea pig breed: Their external morphology is the result of a recessive genetic mutation. As is the case with other species, these mutations occur when you try to achieve offspring with similar qualities.
Although you don't need to take care of their hair in the Skinny pig's case, you do need to pay attention to their soft and sensitive skin.
Baldwin guinea pig
Unlike the Skinny pig type, Baldwin guinea pigs are born with hair that they progressively lose when they reach adulthood. They are very affectionate and friendly pets.
You must be careful to not expose them to direct sunlight or extreme cold; like the previous cavy, Baldwin guinea pigs are very sensitive.
Short-haired guinea pigs
American guinea pig
This is certainly the most common and most popular guinea pig breed. They have short and very soft hair, and it's quite easy to maintain.
American guinea pics are the perfect breed for those owners who have not previously had a guinea pig, as besides being easy to care for they are friendly and docile. They can come in many different solid colors and color combinations.
Much like American guinea pigs, White Crested cavy are distinguished by the swirling white pattern - called a rosette - that they have on their forehead. Also like the previous breed, White Crested guinea pigs are easy to care for.
Teddy guinea pig
This guinea pig breed has the sweet looks of a teddy bear. Their hair is short, but much fluffier than the previous two breeds. Teddy guinea pigs have beautiful whiskers that highlight their face.
This type of cavy does not require excessive care, but occasional brushing will prevent hair from accumulating and keep it clean.
Rex guinea pig
These type of guinea pigs look very similar to the Teddy breed, but they have harder and rougher hair. They are larger than the other guinea pigs, which is why they are nicknamed "Rex". They have a very tender and sweet character and are especially affectionate.
What are the possible colors of a guinea pig?
Solid-color possibilities for guinea pig coats: Self
Color combination possibilities for guinea pig coats:
- Agouti: Solid color in the belly area while the rest of the hair is ticked.
- Brindle: Solid black and solid red.
- Dutch: Solid color with white marks on the face, around the neck, and the chest.
- Fox: Solid black with white ticking on the face and belly.
- Himalayan: Solid white with other color (black, brown, red) points on face and paws.
- Magpie: Brindle with white instead of red.
- Otter: Solid black with yellow ticking on the face and belly.
- Roan: Solid white with black or red.
- Tan: Solid black with red ticking on the face and belly.
- Ticked: Each hair is striped.
- Tortoiseshell or tortie: Solid red and black.
Other multicolor possibilities for guinea pig coats:
- Carey: Red, black and yellow.
- Dalmatian: Black with blue, gray or white spots.
- Dutch: Gold, black, chocolate and white.
- Harlequin: Red, black and white.
- Mottled: Red, black and brown.
- Tricolor: Brown, black and white.
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