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Guinea Pig Breeds

Guinea pig breeds include many different types of this popular family pet. The docile personalities of almost all of these guinea pig breeds is one of the reasons they make such ideal family pets. Some popular guinea pig breeds including American, Abyssinian, Crested, Peruvian, Silkie, and Teddy.

The American Guinea Pig is also known as the English Cavy, and is one of the oldest and most popular guinea pig breeds. They have short, smooth coats that lie close to their bodies. Their bodies are as wide at the hips as at the shoulders.

The Abyssinian Guinea Pig has hair that grows into a series of distinctive swirls, known as rosettes. The hair of this breed is coarse and dense, with what looks like a mustache on the nose of the guinea pig. The hair grows in all directions, which gives the guinea pig these rosettes; it also means that this guinea pig breed requires fairly extensive grooming on a regular basis.

Crested Guinea Pigs have a single rosette, like those of the Abyssinian, in the center of their foreheads. Within this breed there are distinctive color varieties, such as the American Crested, which always has a white rosette on its head and no white coloring anywhere else on the body. Another type of this breed is the English Crested, which comes in a variety of colors but always has a crest the same color as the rest of the coat.

One of the popular long-haired guinea pig breeds is the Peruvian Guinea Pig. They have long, straight coats that can grow to be up to several inches in length. Their hair naturally falls into a part down the center of their backs, from the back of the head all the way down to the tail. The hair on their faces grows forward. Because of their long hair, Peruvian Guinea Pigs require a great deal of grooming.

Another of the popular long-haired guinea pig breeds is the Silkie Guinea Pig. Also known as Shelties, these animals have long silky coats. The hair flows backward from the head; unlike the Peruvian, though, Silkies have no part down the middle of their backs. As with other long-haired guinea pig breeds, Silkies require extensive regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

Teddy Guinea Pigs have short coats made up of very dense hair. Each hair shaft is bent at the base, making the hairs stand straight up and giving the guinea pig a very fuzzy appearance. While most guinea pigs like to be petted from the head down the body, Teddies usually like to be stroked from the tail to the head.

Popular as family pets, there are many guinea pig breeds from which to choose. Be sure to consider the amount of time you have to devote to grooming, as well as the type of appearance you want when selecting a guinea pig breed.