American Guinea Pig is the most common breed out of the 13 breeds recognized by American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA). So, what does make this breed so popular? Well, it is partially due to the high availability of this breed in the major pet shops and rescues.
OK, let’s deep into more details about the specific characteristics of this cavy breed.
How big is an American guinea pig?
All guinea pigs of any breed when mature reach the maximum length of 8 to 12 inches (20 – 25 cm). The weight varies with gender. The female guinea pigs weight from 1.5 – 2 pounds (680 – 907 grams) and the male piggies can weight from 2 to 2.5 pounds (907 – 1133 grams).
Life Span of the American Guinea Pig
An average American guinea pig life span varies from 4 to 8 years. An American guinea pig is a short-haired breed and in comparison to the long-haired breeds has a higher life expectancy. Long-haired breeds tend to live from 5 to 6 years, when a short-haired guinea pig like American can live up to 10 years.
American guinea pig facts
- This breed is in a short-haired category of the guinea pigs due to its short, smooth and tight coat. Moreover, the coat doesn’t have characteristic rosettes as seen in other breeds.
- American guinea pig is the first breed of guinea pigs recognized by ACBA. Indeed, it is one of the original three breeds that were domesticated back in 2000 BC in the Andes (South America).
- American guinea pig is one of the three main breeds taking participation in the showings run by ACBA.
- ACBA just recently recognized a very similar to the American Guinea Pig breed which is knows as American satin. The main difference is in the coat which has a satin sheen.
American Guinea Pig Colors
This breed has a unique combination of colors! ACBA lists more than 20 variations of colors acceptable for the showings. However, due to the fine and short-haired nature American guinea pigs tend to be in a solid color. It is often known as a self coloring. So, when you see a completely black guinea pig you can call it a self black.
Hence, the colors are classified into 5 groups: self group, solid group, agouti group, marked group and tan pattern.
- Self group: beige, black, chocolate, cream, lilac, red-eyed orange, red, white;
- Solid group: brindle, roan, dilute solid, golden solid, silver solid;
- Agouti group: dilute agouti, golden agouti, silver agouti;
- Marked group: broken color, Dalmatin, Dutch, Himalayan, tortoise shell, tortoise shell and white;
- Tan pattern: black, blue, chocolate, lilac.
Now, what does make the American guinea pig so popular? To find out you need to know more about their personality, care requirements and price.
American Guinea Pig Personality
I think the main reason why it is the most popular breed is in their outgoing personality. Piggies of this breed are very friendly and cooperative. They are not aggressive towards their owners and are really playful.
Moreover, American guinea pig owners say that they haven’t been bitten by their pets out of anger or anxiety. Nevertheless, there might be different reasons why your pet might be biting or nibbling.
Also, they have a great temperament meaning that they are not stubborn and are not troublemakers.
American Guinea Pig Care Requirements
Many owners choose an American guinea pig because it is short-haired and the coat is very tight. Therefore, the grooming routine will be relatively easy because you only need to brush and comb a short-haired piggy once a week.
Here is a set of tasks you will need to perform to keep your guinea pig healthy and happy:
- Brushing and combing
- Teeth checking
- Nails trimming
- Weight monitoring
- Grease gland cleaning
- Eyes, ears and nose cleaning
You don’t need to bathe an American guinea pig too often, they are capable of keeping their coat clean themselves. I would say that you need to give your pet a bath if the coat has actual stains on it. You can find more information on how to bathe a guinea pig here.
Overall, American guinea pig is relatively easy to care for, that is what makes it a good pet for a child.
American Guinea Pig Price
That is another reason why American guinea pig is the most popular breed. They are quite cheap in comparison to other breeds. For example, you can purchase or adopt an American guinea pig for 10-20$. The price can alter if you decide to get a piggy from a breeder and in a rare color.
Just to give you an idea, a Teddy guinea pig will cost you from 20 to 40 dollars. Also, let’s not forget about the price of the grooming supplies.
Where to get an American guinea pig?
You can get a guinea pig from three places: pet shop, shelter and breeder. I personally would recommend adopting a guinea pig rather than buying, also, the price is almost the same.
Of course, you can go to a breeder, but you need to make sure that he is reputable and trustworthy.
- Choosing and Buying a Guinea Pig
- The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Guinea Pig
- Guinea Pig Breeds, Behavior and Breeders