With all of the guinea pigs at the shelter, I got curious about what breeds they were. So I did some research. Right now at the shelter there are four American guinea pigs, one abyssinian, and the rest are all white-crested guinea pigs. While I was researching, I came across a lot of cool and weird-looking guinea pig breeds that I never knew about. Since they are so cool, I thought that I would share with you guys about the guinea pig breeds I found. I have to say, that guinea pig breeds are confusing. The American Cavy Breeders Association only recognizes 13 breeds, however the UK version recognizes many more.
Overall guinea pig breeds include: American, White Crested, Self Crested, Abyssinian, Teddy, Rex, Peruvian, Silkie, Coronet, Texel, Alpaca, Merino, and hairless.
Almost every breed has a "satin" alternative where the fur is shinier. Most breeds can either be "self" or "non-self". Self guinea pigs have fur of all of the same color, while non-self refers to any other type of coloring. Their is a very long list of color combinations for guinea pigs such as tortoiseshell, himalayan, silver agouti, dalmation, etc.
So here is a bit more about the breeds that I mentioned above:
American guinea pig:
This is the most popular guinea pig out there. It is the most commonly seen guinea pig. It is also called the English cavy. This particular breed has fur that lies flat to the body. This guinea pig can be all sorts of colors and patterns and comes in "self" and "non-self" colors.
The white-crested guinea pig is pretty much the same as an american guinea pig with the exception of a white crest of fur on the forehead between the ears.
This breed is the same as the white crested, with the exception that the crest is the same color as the rest of the fur.
This is one of my favorites. They are medium haired and come in all sorts of colors and patterns like most breeds. Their medium length fur is arranged in all sorts of swirls positioned in a way that makes their fur stick up all over the place and almost give them a mohawk look.
Teddy and Rex:
These are two different breeds but literally look almost the same for the most part. The Teddy has fur that stands straight up at a ninety degree angle giving them a plush look. The Rex is similar but the fur varies from straight to a little curly.
This guinea pig is so weird looking! They have long hair that literally never stops growing. The hair parts down the back and their hair can grow to be incredibly long. They remind me of Shi-Tzu and Lhasa apso dog breeds.
This guinea pig is also called the Sheltie. This particular breed is very similar to the peruvian with extremely long fur. The only difference is that the fur does not grow like the peruvian. The peruvian guinea pigs fur grows to form a part on their back, but the Silkie/sheltie's fur grows from the head back, and does not make a part.
The coronet is a long haired guinea pig like the Silkie and the peruvian, with no part and a rosette/crest on the top of the forehead.
This is a pretty cool guinea pig but grooming it is very difficult. The Texel guinea pig has long very curly and soft hair. This particular pig's fur gets tangled very easily.
Alpaca: This guinea pig has fairly coarse fur that is medium to long. It is not a very common breed.
Merino: This is virtually the same as a Texel, but with a crest on its head.
Hairless: Yes, there are hairless guinea pigs out their. There are a few varieties of hairless guinea pigs. The go by different names including "Skinny pigs". Some varieties of hairless guinea pigs actually do have some furry spots but not much.
Now that I have told you about some of the different guinea pig breeds here are some pictures of them that I made:
Note: You can click on both of these images to make them bigger so that you can read the type.
Note: the last two links are sort of slideshows so you can click the arrow above the picture to see more of that breed or other breeds.