Different Breeds of Guinea Pigs

There are as many as 16 breeds of Guinea Pigs in the world. Most commonly seen in the Singapore is the American Short Coat/Smooth Coat, Abyssinian, Peruvian, Sheltie, Rex, Coronet, Sheba Mini Yak and the Hairless breed which is also known as Skinny Pigs.

Different Breeds of Guinea Pigs:
American Short Coat/Smooth Coat
Silkie or Sheltie
English Merino
Hairless breeds
The Sheba or Sheba Mini Yak

American Short Coat:

American Short Coat / Smooth Coat guinea pigs furs are the shortest of all breeds except for the Skinny Pig. They won’t grow long and will just remain that length or many just slightly longer. This cavy requires the least grooming as the fur is short therefore, no haircut is needed. However, as a pet, it still needs to be nurtured and cared for like any other breeds.

Abyssinian guinea pigs have deep, tall rosettes all over the body, rosettes are whirls of fur that grow evenly from a certain point on the animals coat, making it look tufted and fluffy. You may think these rosettes are random and each guinea pig is unique, but in reality each Abyssinian has eight to ten rosettes. They come in a wide variety of colors. They may have up to 5 or more types of different color on their fur.


When the Himalayan is first born, it is solid white for the first few weeks after birth. The ears, face, paws, and feet grow darker with age. Himalayans’ coat darkens depending on the temperature. If a Guinea pig lives in a house where the temperature is kept colder it will have darker points. If it is kept in a house where the temperature is warmer the points will be lighter and maybe even a medium brown. The darkest areas should be the face, paws, and the feet. Himalayans should have dark red eyes.


The Peruvian is the progenitor of all modern long haired breeds, being a Guinea pig with hair that grows long continuously all over its body, sometimes to an excess of 20 inches (approx. 50 centimeters). Peruvians of show standard are required to have two rosettes on either side of the rump, which creates the desired height and density. The Peruvian coat is smooth and straight, and grows to several inches in length. The hair naturally parts down the center of the back, and also grows forward over the head.


A Silkie has long hair that flows back over its body and never forward over the face. When viewed from above it forms a teardrop shape and should never have a central part. Sheltie is generally accepted to have a somewhat longer sweep of hair in the rear.


A Rex Guinea pig has short, fuzzy hair that stands on end all over the body. The hair should be uniform all over, without rosettes and no more than 1⁄2 inch (1 1⁄4 cm) in length, preferably shorter.


A Teddy Guinea pig has a very dense and springy coat, with hairs that stand up. Another unique feature of the Teddies in the USA is the relatively long hair coating their bellies. In UK, teddies must have short coats, growing slightly forward to a “cap” on the forehead.


A Texel Guinea pig is like a Silkie. The curls should ideally be tightly wound corkscrew curls and should cover the entire body, including the stomach. Unlike a Sheltie, a central part is allowed.


A curly coated Peruvian. Hair grows over face like a Peruvian. (Don’t have much information about this breed as it is uncommon in Singapore)


Lunkarya is a mix breed of the the Rex and the Peruvian. The whole breed was almost abandoned sometime ago as the interest for this breed were going down. Luckily, there was a sudden interest in this breed that saved it’s kind.


The Crested is similar to the American, but has one rosette on the top of the head. According to ACBA standards, the Crest must be white, with no other white hair present on the animal. There are 3 different type of Crested, the White crested, the American Crested and the English Crested. The American Crested must have a crest colour that is in contrast to the body colour. Usually this is white, but it could be any other colour.


A Coronet cavy has longer hair, like the Silkie, along with a crest like a Crested. Hair on this specific Guinea pig usually grows backwards, towards its rear end. He has a crown like crest which splits the hair on the head to look like a crown.

English Merino:

A curly-coated Coronet with a crest in between the ears on the centre of the head. (Don’t have much information of this breed as it’s uncommon in Singapore)

Hairless/Skinny Pig:  

Skinnies were developed from a hairless lab strain crossed with Teddies and other haired breeds. They have curly Teddy hair on their noses, feet and legs. Hairless breeds require special accommodation, as they need to be kept warm and may require extra food.


The Ridgeback is a recognised breed in the UK and is show under the guidance of the Rare Varieties cavy club and is also recognised as a Rare Variety in Sweden. It is characteristically smooth-coated, other than a ridge of hair growing along its back. ( A very beautiful and special kind of guinea pig but sadly, I’ve yet to know anyone who owns them is living in Singapore.)

Sheba Mini Yak:

The Sheba is a longhaired, rosetted cavy, characterised by mutton chop whiskers, with frontal, presented to one side of the face, and in a naturally tousled appearance.


Most information and pictures were gather from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_guinea_pig_breeds    &     http://www.google.com
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