When we think of a guinea pig, we usually picture the American Guinea Pig – the “classic” or “standard” guinea pig – and also the most common. But there are also several other breeds in addition to the common American Guinea Pig. This article will introduce you to a few of the breeds commonly found in homes today.


The Abyssinian is a long-haired breed. The coat on this animal is quite distinctive because it tends to curl itself into whirls and swirls. These whirls and swirls are called rosettes. The Abyssinian is one of the oldest breeds that can be found today. If you are looking for a low-maintenance guinea pig, keep looking. This particular breed requires daily attention to the coat to avoid tangles and keep the pig looking well-groomed.

American Guinea Pig

This is the variety that first comes to mind when we think of the words “guinea pig”. It is also sometime called an English guinea pig. This is a short hair breed which makes it suitable for a pet. It does not require grooming and can be handled and petted without messing up its coat.


The Peruvian breed is an extreme long-haired breed. Its hair can grow to an amazingly long length of a foot or more. The hair is smooth and straight and tends to part in the middle and hang naturally to either side of the pig. The long hair requires a lot of care; so many owners prefer to keep the coat trimmed to make this task easier.


The Silkie is a less common breed and is also referred to as a Sheltie. It has a very long (and, of course silky) coat – similar to the Peruvian. In contrast to the Peruvian, the hair does not tend to part naturally down the center of the back. The hair of the Silkie sweeps backward from the head. The coat of the Silkie is also softer than that of the Peruvian.

This article has presented a short survey of some of the more common guinea pig breeds. No matter what the breed, guinea pigs can make great loving pets and help to brighten a household. Although long haired breeds tend to look more exotic and sometimes make good show animals, the common short-haired American breed is a very popular household pet because its coat requires very little care.

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Categories: Guinea Pig Care and Feeding

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