Popular Breeds of Guinea Pigs

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Popular Breeds of Guinea Pigs

Thirteen breeds of domesticated guinea pigs are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the official registry for guinea pigs in the United States. Each breed is a wonder in and of itself, unique in color, body type, and coat from all the others. Some have short, round bodies. Others have longer,more streamlined figures. Coat color, patterns, markings, and texture are different in each breed. Each of these breeds is available in the agouti, self, solid, and marked varieties.

The Abyssinian guinea pig is one of the oldest breeds. His coat is covered with rosettes, a pattern made up of radiated hair growing from a center point. The rosettes are placed one on each shoulder, four over the back, one on each hip, and two across the guinea pig’s rear. The coat of the Abyssinian is coarse and dense and measures around one and a half inches long. The Abyssinian has a medium body length with rounded sides and plenty of depth to the shoulders and hind quarters.

The American
is the most popular breed of guinea pig and has the appearance most people think of when they imagine a typical guinea pig.
He has a Roman, or rounded, nose with ears that stick out from the sides of his head. His smooth coat lies close to his body.

American Satin
The American Satin is the same as the American guinea pig, except that his coat is shiny and sleek.
The Coronet has a long coat with a large rosette—or coronet—that runs from the tip of his nose to the center of his ears.
The ears droop slightly.
The Peruvian used to be known as the Angora. This breed has a long, sweeping coat that drags on the ground.
The Peruvian’s hair, which grows from a center part down the animal’s back, is very dense and soft and requires a lot of grooming. Peruvian guinea pigs do best if their long hair is trimmed, for ease in grooming and so the animal can see where he is going.

Peruvian Satin
The Peruvian Satin is very similar to the Peruvian, except that his coat is much silkier and more lustrous.

The Silkie (known as the Sheltie in Britain) is so named because of the softness of his very long hair.
The hair grows back from the guinea pig’s nose and over his back in a teardrop pattern. Because of his luxurious coat, the Silkie requires a lot of grooming.

Silkie Satin
The only difference between the Silkie and the Silkie Satin is the coat.
The Silkie Satin’s hair is very long, dense, and lustrous like the Silkie’s, but it has a distinctive sheen.
The Teddy was developed from a mutation.
The breed has a dense, resilient, kinky coat that is about three-quarters of an inch long.
Two different textures are seen in the Teddy’s coat: plush, which is soft; and harsh, which is rough.

Teddy Satin
Like the Teddy, the Teddy Satin has a short, dense, kinky coat, although it will reveal a glowing sheen in the right lighting.

The Texel is the newest breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
The Texel’s unique coat of ringlets or curls sets him apart from other cavy breeds.
White Crested
The White Crested has a single white rosette atop his head. This marking is very difficult to breed for, and consequently, there are not many show- quality White Cresteds around today.

A correct crest is centered on a line running from the tip of the guinea pig’s nose to the center of his ears. In a show-quality White Crested, there are no other white hairs on the body.

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