Which Guinea Pig Breed is Right for Me? Find the Best Fit in 4 Steps

Guinea Pig Breed Selector

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What Is The Best Breed of Guinea Pig For me

Brown piggies, white piggies, long-haired, short-haired, curly-haired, bedhead, or bald guinea piggies, there are so many choices! Although all cavies have similar personality attributes, the time and care needed to keep them in tip-top condition differ significantly. Knowing their differences makes it easier to choose the breed that is right for you.

The best guinea pig breeds for first-time owners are short-hair varieties. Cavies with longer coats require a lot of daily grooming and don’t do well in hot climates. Hairless breeds are not recommended as they are difficult to keep and are prone to developing health issues.

Selecting the best piggy is a mixture of balancing looks with how much daily maintenance your environment and you will be able to give your pet. Guinea pig breeds vary from totally hairless to resembling mops with no handles, so let’s dive right in to find the best one for you.

Which Breed Of Guinea Pig Is Right For Me?

Cavies of all breeds come in various color combinations, making each unique. Each kind has more to do with the coat length and hair type than personality, and piggies of different breeds can live happily together as long as they are introduced correctly.

When you are deciding on which guinea pig breed to choose, start by thinking about the following:

  1. The American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes 13 official breeds. Of course, there are many more than that, but if you want to enter your piggies in shows someday, then it is better to select one from their list.
  2. The next thing to consider when choosing a piggy is your climate. Long-haired varieties don’t cope well in hot regions, so that is something to keep in mind. Although hairless piggies may seem ideal for hot areas, they are incredibly fragile and must be kept indoors and out of direct sunlight.
  3. Where will your piggies spend most of their time? It is best to select a short hair variety if it will be an indoor and outdoor pet. Long hair dragging over wet grass or through muddy patches will be very difficult to maintain.
  4. The final thing to consider is how experienced you are with keeping piggies and how much time you have to devote to grooming your pet. Short, smooth-haired varieties like the American come in various colors and require very little grooming, while Peruvian cavies may turn you into a full-time stylist.

Although long-haired varieties may look appealing in pictures, starting with low-maintenance piggies is always better. That way, you can learn how to care for them, and when you have more experience, you can add a more exotic-looking individual to your herd.

Let’s look at some breeds you may encounter while searching for a new pet:


Short-Haired Guinea Pig Breeds

Rough-Haired Guinea Pig Breeds

Long-Haired Guinea Pig Breeds

Hairless Guinea Pig Breeds

Common breeds to consider

  • American
  • White Crested

(Recommended for novice piggy owners)

  • Abyssinian – these have delightful cowlick-type whorls of fur all over their bodies.
  • Teddy
  • Rexes
  • Peruvian – its hair can grow up to 2 feet long.
  • Silkie aka Sheltie
  • Texel
  • Coronet
  • Baldwin
  • Skinny Pig

(They require special diets and heating equipment.)

Level of care and maintenance






What To Look For When Choosing A Guinea Pig

When choosing guinea pigs, their colors often catch our attention first. The eye-catching ones with striking markings often stand out from the rest.

Instead of simply scooping up piggies based on their pattern, take some time to assess each animal carefully. There are a few things to take note of that will help to ensure that you get a healthy pet:

  • Cavies do better in pairs, so choose two healthy individuals of the same sex to prevent unwanted offspring.
  • Animals should be plump, healthy-looking, and alert.
  • It is entirely natural for piggies to appear fearful of strangers handling them, so don’t be put off by skittish behavior while choosing.
  • The eyes should be clear, bright and show no signs of discharge.
  • Ears, nose, and bottom should be clean.
  • Check that the animal’s feet are in good condition without any scars or spots.

Choosing healthy guinea pigs always trumps buying a special rare breed only to find that they struggle with health issues. It is highly recommended for first-time piggy owners to start with a smooth, short-haired breed that doesn’t have many special requirements.


All guinea pigs require daily care, but some breeds need more grooming or special considerations than others. Short-haired American or white-crested piggies are ideal starter cavies for new piggy parents, and they come in many delightful color combinations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

All guinea pigs, regardless of their breed, have individual personalities. One may be bold and confident, and another from the same litter could be a shrinking violet. Always choose piggies based on their health and the length of coat that fits the amount of time you have.

Which Guinea Pig Breed Is The Friendliest?

Abyssinian guinea pigs have earned themselves a reputation for being social butterflies. They are often described as gentle and affectionate, and their unusual bristle-like fur that sticks up in all directions gives them a delightful shabby-chic appearance.

Which Guinea Pig Breed Lives The Longest?

No matter which breed you choose, most guinea pigs live for around five to seven years. The oldest recorded piggy was almost 15 when it died. The main determining factor of how long a piggy lives are its overall health, environment, and the care it receives.

Some research indicates that when kept in ideal conditions, skinny pigs can outlive their hairy counterparts. However, since they require so much additional care and pampering, they should only be considered for experienced cavy owners.

What Is The Calmest Breed Of Guinea Pig?

Silkies are known to be the calmest, gentlest of the piggy breeds. This glamorous long-haired breed with Hollywood-style hair, are excellent pets for anyone with a spacious inside cage and loads of time to devote to maintaining their impressive locks.

What Is The Easiest Breed Of Guinea Pig To Care For?

The most popular breed is also the easiest breed to care for. American guinea pigs have short, smooth hair with alert little faces that will melt your heart.

American piggies can manage indoors or in sheltered outdoor enclosures and require very little grooming or bathing. They are easy to come by and are the most widely available variety of cavy breed.

What Is The Most Playful Guinea Pig?

Coronet guinea pigs look a lot like Silkies, except for the single dramatic rosette of hair on its forehead, which can give it a somewhat comical appearance. Despite their reputation for being playful, fun, and easy-going, their long fur is challenging to take care of. Coronet piggies fare better with experienced piggy owners.