Category Archives: Breeds of Guinea Pig

30 Things To Know About The Teddy Guinea Pig

The Teddy guinea pig has been getting more popular amongst guinea pig owners. They are drawn to their lovely coats, warm personalities and low maintenance.

They are often mistaken for Amercian guinea pigs but they are actually different from them.

So to get to know them, here are 30 things to know about the Teddy Guinea Pig.
  1. Teddy guinea pigs get their name from their resemblance to a stuffed teddy bear. Particular in regards to their fur.
  2. The teddy guinea pig is a non-self variety
  3. The Teddy bear is a main classified breed
  4. Much like other breeds of guinea pig, they live between 6-8 years.
  5. The Teddy guinea pig has a dense and fuzzy coast and the hairs stand on end
  6. Teddy guinea pigs have dryer skin than other guinea pig breeds
  7. Teddy guinea pigs don’t need more than 3 baths each year because most of the time they self groom.
  8. Their hair is not high maintenance.
  9. They do get dirtier ears than other breeds so you will need to check their ears at least twice a month and get rid of any wax that builds up.
  10. The teddy guinea pig is the result of a mutation of a tortoise shell and a white American guinea pig.
  11. They Teddy guinea pig was first produced as a guinea pig variety in 1967
  12. Their coat is rougher than that of an American guinea pig, shorter and does not have the rosettes that the American has.
  13. The Teddy guinea pig has a coat that is kinky and thick giving it a fluffy appearance
  14. Teddy guinea pigs don’t have a problem with hair matting like other guinea pig breeds
  15. The Teddy guinea pig has a medium length body
  16. its nose has a prominent bridge which looks like it is bent
  17. They were officially recognized by the American cavy breeders association in 1974.
  18. It is not possible to breed proper teddy guinea pigs by cross breeding as its now a breed in its own right
  19. They have an upturned nose also found on an american guinea pig. It is much wider and curvier than other guinea pigs noses.
  20. Just like other guinea pigs, their teeth are constantly growing.
  21. Teddy guinea pigs need much the same food and water as any other guinea pig.
  22. They much prefer to be kept indoors but can be kept outside if the temperature is right.
  23. Like other guinea pigs, they prefer temperatures between 41-59 degrees farenheit.
  24. They always need to chew so require a constant supply of hay so as to grind down their teeth.
  25. Teddy guinea pigs need water to be constantly available much like other guinea pigs.
  26. They enjoy eating veggies and some fruit.
  27. Grooming a teddy bear requires a little more thought than that of an american guinea pig.
  28. Try and brush your teddy guinea pig once a week
  29. Using a slicker brush will also help lessen hair shedding.
  30. In fact, ising a slicker brush will help to get rid of looser hair.
  31. A good way to brush a teddy guinea pig’s coat is to pet and brush them head to rump (or vice versa) so that it goes flat.


The Roan Guinea Pig: 15 facts about this rare breed

  1. Roan is actually a mutation.
  2. The roan guinea pig is a black colored guinea pig with white hairs mixed evenly throughout its body.
  3. There are types of roan guinea pig where other colors have been incorporated due to breeding
  4. To be classed as a roan guinea pig, it can have just a patch of coloring or be colored all over.
  5. They are often confused with dalmatian guinea pigs.
  6. A roan should never be allowed to breed with another roan as they can be born with deformities often known as lethal white syndrome.
  7. The roan coloration is found on many animals and is defined as a mix of white and colored hairs which don’t fade due the animal growing in age.
  8. Roan is a mutation which is often found on horses..
  9. Acceptable color combinations for the white hairs include any of the self, agouti, or solid colors
  10. The roaning effect is often heavier behind the shoulders, resulting in a lighter shade on the rear part of the body. (source)
  11. It is said that roan guinea pigs cannot be allowed to mate with one another, as a high proportion of their offspring will be born with deformities internally and externally such as tiny eyes and teeth problems and will soon die. They are given the term ‘lethal guinea pigs’ (source)
  12. An animal with one copy of the gene is totally healthy. They are the ones that have the white/colored mixed patches
  13. Guinea pigs with two copies of the roan gene are the ‘lethal guinea pigs.’ They are always pure white with pink eyes. (source)
  14. If you have a guinea pig with dark eyes and a white coat, it is not a lethal. It may however have hidden roan, ie the white roan hairs mixed through regular white coloring – which makes it impossible to tell. (source)
  15. Because ‘hidden roan’ is tricky to dicifer, a lot of breeders recommend not breeding any two animals that have any white on them unless you know their parents didn’t have roan. (source)

What Breed of Guinea Pig Should I Get?

Looking for a guinea pig to look after can be a tricky thing sometimes, so here is a guide to help decide what breed of guinea pig should you get?

Breeds that are easy to look after

These breeds of guinea pigs are idea for beginners and those who have no experience of looking after guinea pigs. They are also great for older children to look after.

They are also ideal for owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.

American Guinea Pig – Short haired cavies who are very low maintenance. Elegant and sleek in appearance. Ideal for first time owners.

Crested guinea pig – A short haired guinea pig that has a single rosette swirl on their forehead. Their hair is short so does not require maintenance.

Montaine guinea pig – a cousin of the domestic cavy, found in South America. A short haired cavy that is low maintenance

Agouti guinea pigs – A wonderfully beautiful short haired cavy that are very low maintenance with their beautifully distinct short coats. Ideal for beginners of older responsible children to look after.

Rex guinea pigs – Have dense wooly hair that stands up on end and ears that droop down. Don’t require a lot maintenance and they self-clean.

Breeds that require more experience

These breeds of guinea pigs require a bit more attention but can still be looked after by relatively new owners. They are recommended as a second-guinea pig and require time spent maintaining them on a weekly basis.

Teddy guinea pigs – Have a lovely frizzy haired and dense coat however it is relatively short haired and so doesn’t need as much care as long haired cavies. Ideal for those with a bit of experience of looking after guinea pigs.

Abyssinian guinea pigs – Long haired cavies loved and adored throughout the world, require brushing regularly to ensure that they fungal infections don’t occur. They are relatively self cleaning and so don’t require regular bathing. However do watch for build up around the anus and will require bathing to get rid of this.

Himalayan guinea pig – It is an albino guinea pig that needs to be kept inside. Their short hair means that they don’t need a lot of maintenance. Can be a first guinea pig but require a little more attention due to needing to be inside.

Swiss guinea pigs – Guinea pigs with hair that stands on end. Requires brushing once a week at the most and are pretty much self-cleaning cavies.

Breeds that require experienced owners

Not for the inexperienced, these piggies require a good amount of time and care from their owners. They need thought put into their homes and the environment they live in. They need owners that have spent time with piggies before and know how to handle them.

Coronet guinea pig – They are a rare breed piggy and a long haired version of the crested guinea pig. Their hair grows backwards over their body. They are indoor guinea pigs that don’t do well outside and need to be kept in a strict temperature of between 10 degrees celcius and 25 degrees celcius. Their hair needs plenty of grooming and maintaining as their hair can become matted if not looked after.

Peruvian guinea pigs – A most beautiful breed of guinea pig. Very rare and hard to find. Hair needs consistent maintenance and trimming otherwise it can be come matted. Their living environment must also be well maintained so that their hair doesn’t pick up any unwanted debris.

Alpaca guinea pigs – Not good as a first guinea pig as their hair needs daily maintenance to stop tangling and will need trimming regularly. They also need to live in a tidy environment so that their hair does not pick up any unwanted debris.

Merino guinea pigs – Long haired cavy with curly coats of hair. They are not a common breed and like other breeds of long haired cavy require a lot of care and maintenance on a daily basis with grooming, trimming and washing.

Texel guinea pigs – Also have long haired curls that require a lot of maintenance and care. Their curls cant become matted very easily and can pick up debris. Not a guinea pig to be left alone for long periods.

Sheltie guinea pigs – Wonderfully beautiful guinea pigs who have beautiful silky long hair that sweeps back from its face. They need regular brushing and their hair needs needs trimming regularly and attention to ensure that it doesn’t matt.

Breeds that require expert owners

Specialist owners only please. Please don’t attempt to own one of these unless you have been trained to do so.

Baldwin guinea pigs – Their skin is completely bald and has a rubbery texture to it. They are born with hair but it falls out over a period of months leaving them completely bald.

Skinny guinea pigs – Like Baldwins, they are a new breed of piggy that are hairless so need to be kept inside in strict temporal conditions. They have a soft rubbery skin which is very vulnerable to sunlight.  They require expert care from owners that know how to look after them.

Teddy Guinea Pig: A Brief Guide

Teddy guinea pigs are a fantastic breed and indeed a very beautiful one as well.

Their dense and frizzy coat is quite unique and is a big favourite amongst owners and breeders alike.

They are known as a rough haired cavy along with Abyssinian’s and Rex’s.

Because of their coat is a relatively short haired coat it does not require much maintenance at all.

Warm and friendly guinea pigs

Like most breeds of guinea pig, they are very warm and friendly characters and can be very affectionate when they want to be.

We don’t know how they long they have been recognised as a breed but they are similar to their ancestral guinea pig predecessors in appearance, although they have frizzier hair.

Looking after your Teddy Guinea pig

The fantastic website has some great tips on looking after your Teddy Guinea Pig and I am indebted to them for the advice they share on their site which helped me write this.

Brush your Teddy once a week at least and use a slicker brush will help get rid of any loose hair and help to slow down any moulting.

An alternative brush that you can use is a wire cat brush but take care not to hurt them by being too rough with it as you could scratch their skin.

A lot of people like the way their hair stands on end, and a good way to keep their hair standing up nicely is to brush the other way up their body so rather than head to rump, brush the other way rump to head.

Teddies tend to have a dryer skin than other breeds of guinea pig, so do take care when bathing them. reccomends no more than 3 baths a year and use a specialist shampoo. have a very good range.

When bathing them use a bowl of shallow warm water (or a sink) and then rinse them, apply shampoo and rinse again using the warm water.

Try not to get shampoo in their ears. You can do this by spot cleaning their head with a cloth.

Dry them with a towel to stop them from getting cold.

Take care to clean their ears each month as their ears do get a wax build up. Use a drop of mineral oil in each ear to loosen up the build up and take a cloth around your finger and remove the wax.

They will need their nails clipped once a month to ensure that they don’t grow too long.
They eat a standard guinea pig diet of 75% hay topped up with veggies and fruit not to mention vitamin c pellets and fresh water.

Their cage will need cleaning out once a week thoroughly to keep it clean. They do appreciate a clean and fresh cage so it is a priority to do this. Spot clean the cage daily to get rid of any poops that have appeared.

Never use sawdust, but line their cage with newspaper, hay or another suitable bedding such as fleece.

Sources and further reading

can guinea pigs share a cage

The American Guinea Pig: A Brief Guide

There are many different breeds of guinea pig, but one of the most popular is the American guinea pig. This is a brief introduction to this particular cavy, giving an insight into what they are like.

image wikipedia

What they look like

The american guinea pig is a smooth haired cavy that has a smooth coat and is elegant and sleek in appearance.

It has a body that is medium in length, with a high full crown and Roman nose.

 Who are they suitable for?

American cavies are a great breed for those who are just starting out in looking after guinea pigs. This is because they don’t require much grooming compare to other types of guinea pigs.

Nature and temperament of American guinea pigs

American guinea pigs are naturally very calm animals. They a very passive, in fact more so than other breeds.

They love to be handled and enjoy affection, in fact the more you handle them and show them affection, the more they will respond to you.

If you have an american guinea pig who is a bit jumpy, the best way to rectify this is to hold them regularly and they will get used to you.

Why are they called American guinea pigs?

American guinea pigs are so named because of their close resemblance to their south american cousins.

Their ancestors were also short haired cavies, although agouti coloured.

What do they eat?

American guinea pigs do not have any particular foods compared to other guinea pig breeds.

They also need hay, guinea pig pellets, fresh water and raw veggies as the staple foods of their diet.

They can also eat certain fruits depending on what they contain.

What colours to they come in?

American guinea pigs come in all kinds of colours from tortoise, shell, to black, white, cream and so on.

All kinds of coloured haired american cavies have been bred over the years.

How to look after American guinea pigs.

As short haired cavies, american guinea pigs do not require as much looking after as their long haired counter parts. But the following activities are recommended;

Make sure their nails are clipped at least once a month, and take care not to cut into the quick.

Ensure their food is topped up regularly and that they have an ongoing supply of hay to chew on.

Make sure that they have a daily intake of vitamin c.

Spot clean their cage once a day, and then clean it out thoroughly once a week.

Spend time with them daily and make sure they are held so they are used to you.


Baldwin Guinea Pigs: A Brief Guide

Baldwin guinea pigs are loved throughout the world as unique guinea pigs with a character all of their own.

As far as guinea pig breeds go, they are fairly new on the scene but have grown in popularity amongst breeders.

Here is a brief guide that we have put together to introduce you do this amazing breed of piggie.

What do Baldwin Guinea pigs look like?

They are completely bald and their skin has a rubbery texture to it.

Baldwins are born with all their hair. However after just a few days of their birth their hair starts to fall out and over a period of a few months leaving them it gradually disappears leaving them completely bald.

How did they originate?

Baldwin guinea pigs were originally a spontaneous mutation from White Crested cavies belonging to a Californian cavy owner who was breeding them for show.

They were then bred in isolation before being released to the wider world.

What’s the difference between Baldwins and Skinny Guinea Pigs?

There are two types of hairless guinea pigs, Baldwin guinea pigs and Skinny guinea pigs. Baldwins are completely bald where as Skinny guinea pigs are bald with tufts of hair on their feet, legs and faces.

Where should Baldwin Guinea pigs be kept?

Baldwin guinea pigs, although quite hardy creatures, are not capable of dealing with really cold temperatures and so should always live inside. They are able to have short periods outside in warm weather but as they have no coat do not have the protection they need to protect them.

They cannot cope with any direct sunlight and so must be kept in the shade when you have them outside.

They should be protected from any kind of drafts so take care with any windows in the room that you keep them in.

According to the optimum temperature for baldwin guinea pigs is between 72-74 degrees farenheit.

With this in mind, do keep them inside and as with all guinea pigs, prepare a good sized space for them to live in.

C&C cages or something similar are the best types of cages for them to live where they have a good amount of space to run about in and you can adjust them according what is happening. They can be divided up easily so you can separate the guinea pigs if they do need keeping apart.

What type of bedding do baldwin guinea pigs need?

There are different types of bedding that can be used for baldwin guinea pigs. Avoid anything that could cause irritation to their skin, such as sawdust, harsh shavings and thick hay.

Be wary of using shavings as they may cause irritation not to mention breathing difficulties.

In their place, carefresh and soft sorbet are good options.

Their bedding needs changing often as they eat and drink more frequently than other breeds of guinea pig. So be prepared to change it almost daily.

What food can baldwin guinea pigs eat?

Baldwin guinea pigs can be fed a good guinea pig diet of fresh green hay, topped up by veggies, fruit vitamin c pellets and fresh water.

Because of their high metabolic rate they do require more food and water than the average cavy so do prepare for this.

How often should baldwins be bathed?

Not all guinea pigs need bathing often, but hairless guinea pigs such as baldwins are an exception.

Because of their lack of hair, It is recommended that they are bathed every 2 weeks at a minimum.

If they are not bathed their skin does become dirty and grimy.

They do not like any shampoos that have fragrances so use plain shampoos. Check out who have a very good product range for this.

But avoid regular frangrance shampoos that you can often purchase for guinea pigs.


More detailed sources of information about baldwin guinea pigs may be found at

The Coronet Guinea Pig: A Brief Guide

What kind of breed are they?

The coronet is a rare breed guinea pig which basically means there aren’t too many around.

How did they originate?


What do they look like?

A coronet guinea pig is a long haired version of the crested guinea pig.

It has a single rosette called a coronet in the centre of its forehead and a crest.

Their long hair grows backwards over their body

They look very much like Sheltie guinea pigs but with the crest

How long do they live for?

They can live between 6-8 years if they are looked after well.

Can they be kept outside?

Coronet guinea pigs like other types of rare breeds are indoor guinea pigs and don’t do well outside.

They need to be kept in a strict temperature of between 10 degrees celcius and 25 degrees celcius.

What do they eat?

They can eat a standard guinea pig diet of fresh hay, vitamin c pellets, fresh water and veggies.

Are Coronet guinea pig’s easy to look after?

They are not a recommended for those with little experience of looking after guinea pigs due to the amount of care they need

How do you you groom a coronet guinea pig?

They need plenty of grooming and maintaining as their hair can become knotted or matted if it is not looked after.

It is best to use a plastic comb of short brush when grooming a coronet.

Try and brush in the direction of the hair. A coronet’s hair should be trimmed once or twice a month.

Extra attention needs to paid to hair at the bottom and around its backside because excrement can build up very easily, so the hair around that area needs trimming carefully and thoroughly.

Any other care requirements?

They need bathing once a month to get rid of any grime or dirt that they haven’t managed to clean off themselves.

They also need their nails trimmed once a month to keep them from growing too long.

With a coronet guinea pig, you need to keep checking under the hair which hangs over its eyes to make sure that its eyes are still bright and clear

They are not a recommended for those with little experience of looking after guinea pigs due to the amount of care they need

The Crested Guinea Pig – A Brief Guide

Here is a brief guide to the Crested guinea pig, a beautiful and affectionate breed of guinea pig. We hope you enjoy this introduction.

What kind of breed are they?

They are a rare breed guinea pig. There are two types of crested guinea pig; the American crested which is also goes by the name of the white crested guinea pig, and the self crested guinea pig which also goes by the name of the English crested guinea pig.

What do they look like?

The crested guinea pig is a short haired guinea pig

It has a single rosette which is a swirl in the forehead. Self crested guinea pigs will have a crest that is the same colour as the coat.

An American crested guinea pig will have a crest that is different in colour to its coat. The crest is often a white colour.

Who are they suitable for?

They are very good starter guinea pigs because they are so easy to look after.

What is their nature and temperament like?

They are often quite shy guinea pigs, but will warm to you the more attention you give to them.They are very easy going and if you treat them well, they will also be affectionate to you.

What do they eat?

They eat a standard guinea pig diet of fresh hay, vitamin c pellets, fresh water, veggies and fruit.

What colours do they come in?

Crested guinea pigs come in a variety of colours such as black, brown,  and tortoise shell amongst others.

How do you look after Crested guinea pigs?

Crested guinea pigs are low maintenance guinea pigs so do not require the maintenance that longer haired cavies need.

Ensure their hay is topped up daily, that they have access to fresh water at all times.

Make sure that they are kept in temperatures between 10 degrees and 25 degrees celcius.

Bring them inside over winter time and make sure that they have shelter during summer time.

Clip their nails once a month so as to stop them from growing too long.

Clean out their cage once a week at a minimum to ensure cleanliness is maintained.

montane guinea pig

A Brief Introduction to the Montane Guinea Pig

In order to understand our beloved guinea pigs a bit more, its interesting to find out a bit more about where they come from and their more wilder cousins that live in the Andes region of South America.

There are many different species of guinea pig that live in the wild, and one such species is the Montane guinea pig that inhabits this region and lives in the wild.

image wikipedia

So here is a brief introduction to the montane guinea pig, well ok, all the information I could find.

So for this blog post I am in-debited to the following sources.

Go there for some really in-depth information on wild cavies in the Andes region.

Here are 10  facts to introduce the Montane guinea pig and help you become more acquainted with it.

1. The montane guinea pig is species of guinea pig that is found in Peru, South America. Its binomial name is cavia tschudii.

2. It is a wild guinea pig and lives in peru but is also found in the highlands of Bolivia, north west Argentina and north east Chile.

3. The montane guinea pig enjoys habitats that are most and that are close to riparian habitats. They enjoy thick grass and grasslands that are full of brush where they can make tunnels and runways. They also enjoy rocky areas, forest edges, swamps and savannah’s.

5. As with other guinea pig species, they enjoy living in groups of up to 10 cavies as natural herd animals and use each other to keep themselves safe against predators such as  llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos not to mention Darwin’s Rhea and the Andean Condor.

6. Their colour tends to be a grey or brown colouring and is a lot less distinctive than breeds of domestic cavy.

7. They are most active during the night time as opposed to during the day when they can move around in less danger of unwanted attention from predators.

8. They enjoy making burrows that have lots of different entrances. This enables them to get from place to place with ease. They also use burrows made by rats and mice and other burrowing mammals so do not just make them themselves.

9. They have a gestation period of 63 days. The will mate throughout the year and do not discriminate due to the season.

10. The enjoy foraging for plant materials in the area that they live. These can vary widely in variety, but they will seek out what they need to survive.



abyssinian guinea pigs

Abyssinian Guinea Pigs: A Brief Guide

The Abyssinian guinea pig is an adorable breed which is beloved by many throughout the world.

They vary in colour and have a very distinctive coat texture and hair growth which makes it stand out compared to other guinea pig breeds.

In order to get to know them better, here are some facts to introduce you to them.

image wikipedia

  1. The Abyssinian is a non-self variety of guinea pig
  2. It is a classified main breed
  3. It has a short rough coat with tufts called rosettes
  4. It has rosettes in its coat and shades of colour
  5. When being prepared for shows, it does not need as much preparation as other types of guinea pig’s.
  6. It is known as an ‘abby’ to its fans
  7. An Abyssinian should be groomed with a small-bristled brush so that the hair becomes softer
  8. They can be any color
  9. It can breed with any other breed of guinea pig
  10. What distinguishes them is the texture of their coat which is rough and harsh.
  11. They also have a different growth pattern to other breeds of guinea pig
  12. It has a short,rough coat that has a total of eight rosettes on its shoulders, sides, back and behind.
  13. Its rosettes are all well-formed with tight centres without hairs that stick out.they need to be located symmetrically on each shoulder
  14. A typical Abyssinian has a very distinctive look compared to other guinea pigs
  15. They are typically much likely to have more lively personalities than other breeds of guinea pig.
  16. They tend to be quite energetic guinea pigs.
  17. Abbys are a lot more likely to be troublemakers than the smooth haired pigs.
  18. They respond well to being trained
  19. They are very affectionate guinea pigs
  20. They have a reputation amongst their owners for having cheeky and mischievous personalities.
  21. No one really knows what they called Abyssinian guinea pigs as they do not come from Abyssinian, which is the former name for Ethiopia.
  22. They are also renowned for being rather prone to sickness
  23. They are known for being attentive to keeping themselves clean in order to preserve their coat.

Here’s some more detail about them.

How to care for an Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The great thing about Abyssinian’s is that they are easy to groom and can be brushed regularly using a soft brush.

The coat does require brushing regularly and also attention to ensure that fungal infections do not happen. 

They do a great job at keeping themselves clean and do not need to bathed regularly.

They can be fed with a good balanced guinea pig diet of fresh water, hay and vitamin c pellets topped up with a good diet of veggies.

Compared to other breeds of cavy, they prefer not to be handled as much, however that does not mean they don’t like attention and to be fussed over. Regular time with your Abby is essential for building a close bond and good trust between guinea pig and owner.

 The Personality and Temperament of Abyssinian Guinea Pigs

They love to spend time with other guinea pigs and humans and are very comfortable surrounded by activity.

If you have young Abyssinians then they should be exposed to a social environment.

They tend to be more active at night when in the wild, but like other breeds of cavy sleep in short bursts of a few minutes at a time so as to keep alert.

In fact they often sleep with their eyes open so as to be aware of any potential danger.

They are vocal animals and love to chat away especially if given the attention they need or surrounded by other guinea pigs.

The colours of Abyssinian Guinea Pigs

Fore this section I am indebted to the Abyssinian cavy club has some very good guidance on the colours of the Abyssinian.

Brindles have red and black hairs that are well mixed. They are separated into two groups dark brindles and light brindles depending on their shade of hair.

Tortoiseshells tend to have patches of red and black hair with no set pattern.

Tortoiseshell and whites have patches of red, black and white hair in not set order.

Roans have a mix of white and coloured hair. There are also Blue roans who have a mix of black and white hair and Strawberry roans that have a mix of red and white hair.

Selfs are those that only have one solid colour which is usually black or red but can be other colours as well.

Any other colours are those that don’t fit into the above categories.

Showing Abyssinian’s

Abby’s are very popular for showing amongst breeders because they are challenging cavy’s and have a very clear and defined showing standard for breeders to work to.

For more detailed information on showing Abyssinian’s, here are the British Cavy Council’s show standards

To end with here’s a cute video of a family of Abyssinian’s