Breeds and Varieties

Source:  Breeds and Varieties    Tag:  define recessive gene
I have two favourite guinea pig breeds: Texels (Curlies) and Sheba Mini Yaks (Fluffies).

We work with a lot of other breeds here at the caviary, but my heart remains with those two varieties in particular. As such, and as time goes on, you will probably find that my main piggies mostly represent one of those two looks, hopefully resulting in some incredibly curly and/or fluffy bubs.


At Present, these are my 'Curlies', including Texel, Alpaca, Rex, Merino and all the crossed versions of these varieties. It gives a great overview of how many different ways the curly gene can manifest in guinea pigs, and even how different two 'pedigree texels' can look, depending on the quality of their breeding. It may also help you identify what breed your pet piggy might be

(Special Interest: 'curly' genes in guinea pigs are recessive. Which means that if you have a pig with curls (ie. a rex, texel, or something in-between, it will have two copies of the curly gene, meaning it will breed true if paired with another curly pig. It also means that it will breed straight haired babies if bred to a pig without curls, and no curls in it's history as the straight-hair gene is dominant.):

[Liam, Pedigree Texel (long curly hair that parts down the spine)].

[Phoebe, Pedigree Texel]

[Violet, Pedigree Texel]

[Jasmine, Pedigree Texel]

[Chloe, Texel x Abyssinian/Peruvian. (just looks texel)]

[Romeo, Texel x Rex/Texel (may also just look 'texel' when fully grown)]

[Tigerlily, genetically Merino x Texel/x, just looks texel]

[Yeti, Alpaca (long, curly hair that also parts down the spine, but grows in a forward direction over the face like the straight-haired 'peruvian')]

[Bonnie, Pure Bred Rex (short, zig-zag/wirey fur that gives a fat fuzzy look to the piggy)]

[Subi, Pure Bred Rex]

[Ruby, Texel x Rex, physically looks like a rex with a slightly softer coat]

[Sprout, physically looks like a rex, genetically has mysterious origins!]

[Lavender Mist, genetically a Mini Yak x Abyssinian (fluffy breeds). Physically looks like a shorter coat texel with a rex head!]

[Ivy, genetically a rex x texel/x, looks more rex (6 months old)]

[Lotus, 5 weeks old, and looking very rex-like, but with slightly longer/softer than usual fur. Genetic background is unknown]


These are some of the 'Fluffies' we've had here, including Peruvian, Sheltie, Abyssinian, Sheba Mini Yak, and all the crossed versions of these varieties:

(Special Interest: for the purposes of this page I'm using the lable 'fluffy' simply to mean pigs with long, straight hair, regardless of rosettes/crests. Ie. Sheltie's have long straight hair, but no rosettes, so don't appear 'fluffy' as such. Whereas Peruvian/Sheba Mini-Yak's have long straight hair, but rosettes as well, pushing the coat upwards - making them appear fluffy. But genetically quite similar animals. It's also interesting to note that the rosettes are a dominant gene. This means that a Peruvian who has one copy of the rosette gene and one copy of the smooth gene will look 'peruvian', but could produce sheltie babies if paired with another animal also carrying the smooth gene. These breeds will only breed pure every time if they carry two copies of the rosette gene)

[Malakai, physically looks 'Sheba Mini Yak' (long hair that sticks up in all directions, falls over the face and keeps it's height/fluffiness/length even with a full adult coat), but genetically unknown origins]

[Molly, genetically Purebred Peruvian. Physically looks more Sheba Mini Yak due to the extra rosettes and hair sitting upright on her back/sides]

[Elodie, physically looks Sheba Mini Yak, genetically unknown origins]

[Millicent, Sheba Mini Yak x Sheltie (Just looks sheba now)]

[Sheba, Purebred Peruvian. (how confusing is her name though! lol. She is Peruvian as her hair is long and straight, parts down her spine, sits flat, and grows from rump to head, sweeping over her face)]

[Peppa. Abyssinian. (good, even, open rosettes that make the short coat stick up in all directions)]

[Ginger, Abyssinian x. (rosettes aren't evenly placed enough to be a classic Abyssinian)]

[Jonah, genetically Abyssinan x Texel, physically looks Sheba Mini Yak baby]

[Alice, Abyssinian x Peruvian. (sometimes referred to as 'Abyruvian' as a nickname)]

[Custard, genetically abyssinian x Sheltie. Physically looks like a slightly shorter haired Sheba Mini Yak, or a slightly longer haired Abyssinian!]

[Crumble, purebred Sheltie, which is the classic smoothcoat pig with the longhair gene, so that the hair grows to the ground, and beyond if wrapped, from head to rump]

[Leilani, purebred Coronet, which is just like a sheltie, but with the addition of the crest on the head]

[Lamington Galaxy, physically looks abyssinian x peruvian due to the hair direction. Actual genetics unknown]

[Ben, 5 weeks old in this image. Physically looks like a purebred Sheltie, but genetically is a texel x peruvian. Looks can be so deceiving! Unless you know the background of an animal, you don't really know what you're getting!]


And these guys are your classic guinea pigs, the ones most of us remember from our childhood. These are some of the smoothies we've had here:

[Kobe is a short haired crested. Called American Crested when inside the crest is all white]

[Alba, crested short hair again. Though, her hair has a little more length to it, suggesting some sheltie breeding in her past, and she has the Himalayan colouring with the white fur and dark extremities (nose, ears, feet). Her markings are imperfect though, as you can see the white stripe up her nose, and some of her feet are only partially marked]

[Beeno is a crested short hair, very much like Alba, but with the addition of a coat fault that makes her hair flick up into a ridge.]

[Sparrow is a short haired crested as well. Referred to as an English Crested when the crest is the same colour as the rest of the pig.]