There’s quite a bit that goes into choosing a pet, especially one that will fit the unique dynamic of your family.
Guinea pigs are a wonderful option, as they’re loving and playful animals that can form meaningful connections with their owners. And while all guinea pigs are considered “friendly” pets, some breeds are seen as the friendliest guinea pig breeds.
- Are There Different Kinds of Guinea Pigs?
- Top 5 Friendliest Guinea Pig Breeds
You’ll rarely have to worry that your guinea pig doesn’t want to spend time with you, as they’re quite the attention-hungry animals! But what is the friendliest guinea pig of them all?
Are There Different Kinds of Guinea Pigs?
Consensus: Guinea pigs can vary not only in their appearance but also in their temperament and personality traits.
There are many different breeds of guinea pigs, some of which require more care and attention than others. Additionally, guinea pig breeds differ when it comes to temperament and how they interact with humans.
That means that it’s important to do some research if you’re looking for the perfect guinea pig for you. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you to let you know which guinea pig breed is the friendliest.
Top 5 Friendliest Guinea Pig Breeds
Use the list below to learn about the personalities and care needs of the five friendliest guinea pig breeds out there. You might be surprised how loving these little creatures can be!
They thrive on connection with their owners and their cage mates, which means you’ll never be bored owning a guinea pig.
According to real guinea pig owners and experts, the friendliest guinea pig breeds are:
- American guinea pig
- Teddy guinea pig
- Texel guinea pig
- Abyssinian guinea pig
- Alpaca guinea pig
Continue reading to learn more about each of these guinea pig breeds and their traits, as well as how to care for them.
1. American Guinea Pig
Consensus: The American guinea pig is known as being one of the friendliest guinea pigs you can own. They warm up to their owners much quicker than most breeds, especially if you adopt them when they’re young.
- Size: 1-3 pounds; 8-9 inches
- Appearance: Short hair with 20 different colors variations
- Lifespan: 5-6 Years
- Personality: Friendly and warm toward their owners; easier to train than most guinea pigs
The American guinea pig is one of the lower-maintenance guinea pigs you could own. They don’t need much help grooming themselves as their fur is quite short.
You don’t need to worry about your American guinea pig getting bigger than an average of 1-3 pounds. However, that doesn’t mean their cage can be small. Guinea pigs still need lots of exercise and room to roam!
American guinea pigs live up to six years on average and can become very connected to their owners. American guinea pigs seek human connection, especially if treated with love from birth.
2. Teddy Guinea Pig
Consensus: The teddy guinea pig is a wonderful option as a family pet as they are incredibly friendly with people and other animals.
- Size: 1.5-3 pounds; about 10 inches long
- Appearance: Seems rough to the eye but is soft to the touch; has a noticeable nose
- Lifespan: 5-10 years
- Personality: Yearns for companionship and does very well with cage mates
The teddy guinea pig averages about 10 inches long with a weight of two pounds. This breed of guinea pig also has a nose that is known as a “Roman nose.” It’s quite a bit wider than the average guinea pig, which makes the teddy guinea pig stand out.
Like other guinea pigs, teddy guinea pigs need the company of their peers, so you should house your pet with a sibling or friend. Teddy guinea pigs are also one of the friendliest guinea pig breeds with humans.
Teddy guinea pigs have the added benefit of being very soft, which can be a bonus when you have small kids that might be sensitive to coarse fur.
3. Texel Guinea Pig
Consensus: The Texel guinea pig can be incredibly friendly if you start young with handling them and forming a connection. They require constant attention in the beginning as they must learn good habits early in life.
- Size: 1.5-2.5 pounds; 8-10 inches long
- Appearance: Very long and curly hair that mostly appears in white, brown, and black
- Lifespan: 5-10 years
- Personality: Loving and ready to be held; slight troublemakers and can’t be left alone for long
The Texel guinea pig is a wonderful option as they are quite beautiful and very sweet animals. They are very friendly and will make a great pet as long as you take the time to form a connection with them from the start.
If you have the time to spend with your guinea pig each day, you’ll have a friend for life. They love being held and interacting with their owners.
The Texel guinea pig does not do very well on its own which means you should consider starting with at least two guinea pigs. This breed can get into trouble when left to its own devices.
4. Abyssinian Guinea Pig
Consensus: The Abyssinian guinea pig is an energetic breed which means that you will never be bored owning this pig. They are friendly if they are treated well and have a fairly constant stream of attention.
- Size: 1.5 to 3 pounds; 8-12 inches
- Appearance: Straight hair that stands straight out in a rosette pattern that often resembles bedhead
- Lifespan: 5-6 years
- Personality: Has more energy than the average pig and is incredibly curious; seeks attention and cuddles
The Abyssinian guinea pig loves attention and has a wonderful personality. They will make a wonderful friend if you have the time to spend with them.
They’re very similar to the Texel breed as they have lots of energy and will get into trouble if they are left on their own for a long time. This means they will be better with a cage mate to keep them occupied.
The Abyssinian males have been known to exhibit a few more aggressive behaviors than the female, so that’s something to be aware of when purchasing an Abyssinian guinea pig.
If you’re looking for a guinea pig that you can spend a lot of time with, then the Abyssinian is the right breed for you. They will thrive on the attention you give them and behave better with attention.
5. Alpaca Guinea Pig
Consensus: The alpaca guinea pig is very friendly and requires lots of attention due to their fur needing constant grooming. They need to be held quite often as they love companionship with their owners.
- Size: 1-3 pounds; 6-11 inches long
- Appearance: Thick and long wavy hair that often forms a rosette on the top of their head
- Lifespan: 4-6 years
- Personality: Very sweet-natured and loves the company of their owners; loves to be held
The alpaca guinea pig is a very sweet breed that takes lots of tender love and care to own. They thrive under the right care but are considered higher maintenance pets due to their special type of fur.
The thickness of their fur makes for a dirty guinea pig if they are not groomed daily. They can collect bugs and soiled bedding in their hair very quickly. The fur can also tangle very easily which is yet another reason that you will have to groom them each day.
The alpaca guinea pig is quite beautiful and actually loves to be held, which makes the grooming process much easier. You will find yourself spending quite a bit of time with your alpaca guinea pig!
Is a Guinea Pig Right for You?
The idea of adopting a new pet for yourself or for your family can be a daunting task. The options are nearly endless, and you have to consider what your family is looking for.
If you’re focused on adopting a small and loving animal that enjoys human attention, then a guinea pig might be the right animal for you. They’re sweet-natured and want to spend time with you nearly all the time.
The most important factors to be aware of are that guinea pigs need lots of attention and some require special grooming and sometimes medical care. Many breeds are considered high maintenance, meaning you must allot time each day to care for them.
If you feel you have the time to invest in your furry little friend, the guinea pig breeds above might be the best animal for you and your family!