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Popular Guinea Pig Breeds 

Last Updated: 26.02.20


Guinea pigs are amongst the most popular pets found in American households because they are quite easy to look after and docile. However, if you want your rodent to live a long and happy life, the Guinea pig food by Oxbow could prove the right alternative for balanced and complete nutrition, no matter the breed. Keep in mind that there are over 12 different cavy breeds, reached through hundreds of years of domestication.

If you cannot imagine coming home to a cat or a dog, perhaps a smaller pet would be the most suitable option for you. Cavies or Guinea pigs are small yet loving creatures, capable of creating unique bonds with their owners. However, they long after the company of another Guinea pig so, unless you are willing to adopt at least one pair, these rodents might not be exactly what you’re looking for. 

If you did decide to welcome a new pet into your family, here are the most common breeds you can choose from. 


The Abyssinian

Apart from having a cool name, Abyssinian Guinea pigs also have the reputation of being amongst the oldest existing species. They are lovable and will easily get along with humans, and even other pets. 

Their long hair and swirls make them great show Guinea pigs, so, if you own one, grooming it is mandatory. Oddly enough, there are some minimum requirements your pet needs to meet to enter an official competition, so those with at least 8 swirls have a chance of winning. 

However, long-haired Guinea pig breeds are harder and more expensive to groom as they require different products. They need a special brush or comb designed for animals with thick hair but also soft bristles as the pet’s skin is sensitive. 

If you’re considering adopting an Abyssinian piggy for your kid, you might want to think again. Although friendly, these rodents are mischievous and love getting into trouble. Taming them requires more time and patience than with other breeds but once you manage it, you will discover a loving creature, always looking for cuddles and petting sessions. 



The Alpaca

The Alpaca breed is probably the fluffiest and resembles the cute herbivorous animal with the same name, due to its curly coat. The fur is heavily textured. The breed originates from the English Peruvian Guinea pigs and is not very common.

However, these rodents are very friendly and, to be honest, impossible to resist because they look like a big ball of fluff. Consider yourself lucky if you own one of these Guinea pigs. 


The American

The most common breed among the Guinea pigs, the American rodents have short hair and are known for being great around children. They are also soft and get along well with other Guinea pig breeds and animals. 

Lovable, friendly, and loyal, these animals could prove the right choice for a house full of children of all ages. What we liked most about them is that they are low-maintenance, and don’t require brushing or grooming too often. 

They love being surrounded by people and other Guinea pigs and, once they trust you, they will play with you and seek your company as often as possible. 



Their looks may be a little out of the ordinary but this doesn’t make them less suitable as pets. The Baldwin Guinea pigs are born with hair but they will lose all their hair within two months after birth. This leaves them completely hairless and easy to look after, especially by people who are allergic to pet hair and dust. 

The Baldwin breed of rodents comes with wrinkles and folds on the skin, looking similar to Pugs and Shar-Peis. These adorable little creatures won’t require a lot of grooming but are as loving as other breeds. 


The Himalayan 

The peculiar thing about Himalayan Guinea pigs is that they are regarded as albino but they do have some color on the ear, nose, and feet. These color spots are called “points” and may even disappear in time, especially if the animal is exposed to too much sunlight.

Although the Himalayans are not as rare as one might think, they thrive in cooler climates, where the summers aren’t that hot, humid, and sunny. 



Magpie Guinea pigs get their name after the popular bird due to their coat similarities. The black and white furry rodents feature black ears and patches of white fur on their bodies. The hair is not too long, making it easy to comb and manage. 

Magpies are great with kids and extremely active, meaning they will easily find a playing partner in your child. They are loving, friendly, and enjoy being pet, which makes them the perfect choice for families that want a small and easy-to-handle pet. 



The Peruvian

We’re sure you are familiar with Cousin It from the famous TV show & cartoons “The Addams Family”. Take a closer look at the Peruvian Guinea pig and we guarantee you will see the resemblance. These rodents have the longest hair which can measure up to a whopping 20 inches. They have straight hair without any curls, which makes them look like a luscious wig with eyes. 

The animals are high-maintenance meaning you will have to spend a lot of time combing and looking after their hair to keep it untangled and shiny. They are extremely curious and stay alert at all times, sensing any potential dangers. 

The Peruvian Guinea pigs are perfect pets for older children and teenagers who know how to groom them properly. Some owners prefer cutting their hair but there is no point in owning this breed of pigs if you don’t have enough time to look after their needs. 


The Rex

Another adorable breed of Guinea pigs, the Rex has short hair that doesn’t exceed 0.5 inches. Most of the rodents are covered with various types of hair, including guard hairs. 

One of the particularities of this rodent breed is the long and droopy ears, covered in rough and dense fur. The fur on the rest of the pig’s body is similar to wool in texture, making these creatures look fluffy. Rex Guinea pigs are great around children and will enjoy the prolonged grooming sessions if your kids want to play with their hair. 


The Silkie 

Just like the name suggests, this breed of piggies has silky, soft hair. They are similar to the Peruvians so you should also expect them to have long hair, similar to wigs. 

You could say that the main difference between these two breeds is the way their hair is styled. Silkies have the hair around their heads swept back in a different way, similar to the “wet look” hairstyle for humans. Because of their adorable appearance, they are one of the most popular rodents. 

However, in order to keep their hair long, shiny, and silky-smooth, you will have to invest in grooming products and comb their fur regularly. They are considered high-maintenance just like the Peruvians, so only consider them if you have enough spare time to look after their special needs. 


The Teddy 

Teddies resemble chinchillas because of their dense, short, and grey fur. Although their hair isn’t as soft as the Silkies’ or other breeds’, it is easy to manage and doesn’t require special grooming sessions. However, you will still need to brush their fur often to remove all dirt and debris that might get stuck. 

The upturned nose is one of the characteristics that make Teddies unique. They are quite friendly but also a bit shy in the beginning, so we don’t recommend them for small children. Allow them to gradually get to know you on their own terms and don’t force a connection before they are ready. 


The Texel

These adorable furry creatures look like they’re having a bad hair day every day. The curly, frizzy, and long hair makes them resemble rock stars waking up after a heavy party but this doesn’t make them less pretty. They are, in fact, extremely popular Guinea pigs because they are friendly and, overall, irresistible. 

Keep in mind that Texels require a lot of grooming to maintain their locks untangled, so you shouldn’t adopt one unless you have the time to look after its particular needs.




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Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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