Pedigreed in the show animal world means the animal has a recorded breeding history, preferably at least to the grandparents.
Purebred means the animal has parents from the same breed.
Pedigree refers to lineage, whereas purebred refers to breed.
A pedigree is required to show an animal is purebred.
Most guinea pig shows are more concerned with conformity than pedigree, or how well your pet’s appearance matches a breed standard. Without a pedigree, breeding cannot be proven. Your pet’s fur’s color, texture, and patterning mostly determine the breed for everyday purposes.
A pet does not have to be purebred or have a pedigree.
For a pet, consider whether you are a first-time owner or if you plan on the piggy being a partner for children.
Whether your situation requires a curious breed, a gentle breed, or an intelligent breed, look for a happy, healthy animal.
Keep reading to find out more about guinea pig breeds!
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Different Breeds of Guinea Pigs
There are many beautiful breeds of guinea pigs out there.
Whether you want hairless guinea pigs, an albino breed, or lovely guinea pigs like the silky Peruvian satin, there’s a breed for everyone.
A purebred guinea pig will cost a lot more than a common breed.
Registration of guinea pigs for a show requires breed, color and/or pattern or color combination, the number of colors, date of birth, and the names of the kennel, breeder, and owner.
There are 13 breeds of guinea pig listed by the American Cavy Association.
|Breed of Guinea Pig||Description/Coat Types|
|1. Abyssinian||Short coat, evenly spaced rosettes which stand well open|
|2. Abyssinian Satin||Short coat, evenly spaced rosettes which stand well open, with a satin sheen|
|3. American||Short, smooth coats|
|4. American Satin||Short, smooth coat with a satin sheen|
|5. Coronet||Long coat, flowing from front to back, single rosette well centered upon the forehead|
|6. Peruvian||Long silky hair, flows from back to front, multiple rosettes, mature coat covers face|
|7. Peruvian Satin||Long silky hair, flows from back to front, multiple rosettes, mature coat covers face, satin sheen|
|8. Silkie||Long coat, flowing from front to back, no rosettes|
|9. Silkie Satin||Long coat, flowing from front to back, no rosettes, satin sheen.|
|10. Teddy||Short, dense, plush coat which is resilient to the touch and “stands up”|
|11. Teddy Satin||Short, plush, dense coat which is resilient to the touch and “stands up,” satin sheen|
|12. Texel||Long coat with curly hair, cobby body type|
|13. White Crested||Short coat, single white rosette, well centered on the forehead|
The British Cavy Council recognizes 20 breeds of guinea pigs.
Other Guinea Pig Breeds not recognized by the ACBA
These piggies have wavy, coarse fur, which needs constant care.
Hairless Guinea Pigs
There are two types of hairless guinea pigs, the Baldwin and the Skinny.
The Baldwin is completely hairless; the Skinny might have a few furry spots on its back, legs, and feet.
These are not the sort of guinea pigs for beginners as they require extra warmth and care.
A Himalayan is an albino breed with brown or black coloring on its ears, feet, and nose like a Siamese cat.
The spots will fade if exposed to sunlight, however.
Check out our other post on albino guinea pigs here for more information.
This guinea pig has long, rough curls.
A Merino has long curly hair similar to a Coronet.
This breed has short, wool-like fur, floppy ears, and curly whiskers and is popular with children because of how their fur feels.
This guinea pig has long, dense fur that needs constant maintenance.
It looks like they’ve had a “bad hair day.”
Related: Are guinea pigs high maintenance?
Should I Breed Guinea Pigs?
Some people want to breed piggies, whether for show or sell to pet shops or other private owners.
Guinea pig pups are a hit with children, and there are lots of breeds for you to choose from as suitable pets.
Breeding guinea pigs are popular with 4-H children.
Like most pets, there are far too many available through actual breeders, guinea pig rescues, and pet shops.
There is no need to breed them yourself, and it is a complex process for a first-time pet owner.
Being a responsible breeder involves more than getting a couple of pet guinea pigs and letting them breed.
When embarking on a breeding project, tracking your piggy’s family tree and traits is important to breed desirable traits, such as a sweet temperament or intelligence, and breed out others, such as inherited health problems.
It is important to understand guinea pig genetics if you are going to breed them, as the genetic component will impact a wide range of issues from life span to the overall appearance.
Also, you have a limited window of opportunity to breed female guinea pigs.
After about 8 months of age, the cartilage between their pubic bones stiffens and makes it dangerous for them to give birth.
A sow that has not bred before reaching adulthood may not survive, nor the newborn guinea pigs.
Make sure you plan what you’re going to do with all those baby guinea pigs.
Check out our article on how many babies guinea pigs have.
How Do I Find Out the Breed of My Guinea Pig?
If you do not know the breed of your guinea pig and have no way of finding out the parentage, looking at your guinea pig’s coat length will tell you a lot about your piggy’s breed.
Is your piggy long-haired, short-haired, or bald/mostly bald?
Next, look at the color pattern.
Is your piggy’s fur color solid or patterned?
Do your piggy’s hairs change color up the shaft or have two or more different color bands (agouti)?
What texture is your guinea pig’s fur?
Is it thick, wavy, coarse, smooth, curly, or plush?
Are there many or few or no whorls/rosettes?
What direction does your pet’s fur grow in?
If your piggy doesn’t quite fit any description, you may have a mixed breed.
Getting an expert opinion at your veterinarian’s office or a breed show is good.
Joining a guinea pig pet owner’s forum and posting pictures to enlist others’ aid might also work.