The American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes 13 different breeds of guinea pigs. However, there are a lot more than 13 in the world and many are highly sought after because of their rarity.
Guinea pigs originate from the Andes in South America. Guinea pigs are gentle, loving and curious animals who love to explore, be groomed and spend time with their owners. Many guinea pigs have a social personality so it’s best to be an active owner or to give your guinea pig a friend.
Most Common Guinea Pig Breeds
Abyssinian Guinea Pig – The Abyssinian guinea pig is a great choice for first-time pet owners because they are extremely affectionate. They typically have a swirly fur coat and a messy hairdo.
American Guinea Pig – The American guinea pig is the most common breed of guinea pig. These guinea pigs are known for having a great temperament and getting along with other guinea pigs. These are great guinea pigs for kids.
Peruvian Guinea Pig – The Peruvian guinea pig’s coat is one of the most sought after as a show breed. This guinea pig has a very smooth, straight fur that can grow as long as 2 feet. This guinea pig will need a dedicated grooming cycle to stay healthy. This breed is very alert and curious and loves exploring so you should give them the space they need to feel happy.
Sheltie/Silkie Guinea Pig – The Silkie, also known as the Sheltie, has very long locks of hair that only grow backwards. This is one of the newer breeds discovered and have a very gentle and laid back personality. These guinea pigs will require more care and grooming than many of the other breeds.
Sheba Guinea Pig – The Sheba, also known as the Sheba Mini Yak, has crazy hair that goes in all directions. These guinea pigs have very dense fur and require modest grooming. The Sheba loves to be held and showing affection to their owners.
Coronet Guinea Pig – The Coronet guinea pig has long fur with lots of volume. This guinea pig craves attention and is very playful. This guinea pig is perfect for more seasoned guinea pig owners because of the care it takes to maintain it’s gorgeous mane.
Lunkarya Guinea Pig – The Lunkarya guinea pig is often called the “Lunk” because it has long, rough curls and a very coarse mane. The fur is very thick and requires a lot of daily care. This guinea pig does not do well in extreme heat and should be placed in a modestly cool environment.
Rex Guinea Pig – The Rex has a short, wool-like fur and is great for less experienced owners. These guinea pigs require less grooming because of the short hair and it’s droopy ears give it a very lovable look. This breed loves to be cuddled and petted.
Baldwin Guinea Pig – The Baldwin guinea pig is a hairless guinea pig that should live indoors and be in a warmer environment. The ACBA does not recognize this as a guinea pig breed.
Alpaca Guinea Pig – The Alpaca guinea pig breed is one of the most beautiful breeds because of its wavy and coarse fur. This guinea pig’s daily care will require a more seasoned owner making them best suited for current guinea pig owners.
Texel Guinea Pig – A Texel guinea pig is a cross breed between a Silkie and a Rex. These guinea pigs have longer curly hair that will require a lot to take care of. These guinea pigs are often sought after as show guinea pigs but they do make great pets as well.
Teddy Guinea Pig – The Teddy guinea pig is named after a famous stuffed animal, the teddy bear. They got that nickname because of their appearance and fur making them feel and resemble a small teddy bear. This breed is very playful and loves being around active children and other guinea pigs.
Skinny Guinea Pig – The Skinny guinea pig is another hairless breed, like the Baldwin. This guinea pig requires affection and companionship. If you have a Skinny guinea pig you should look to have more than one. This guinea pig doesn’t require much grooming but the exposed skin will need to be taken care of.
Which Guinea Pig Breed is Right For You?
This is ultimately a personal decision, however, as the most common breed, the American Guinea Pig by default is the popular choice for a pet. These are known for their good temperament with other guinea pigs and are great with kids.