Scientific Name Cavia porcellus Life Expectancy 4-8 Years Other Common Names N/A
Breed Appearance This is the long haired breed! The Peruvian
arrived in Paris around 1886-87, and came to England shortly after.
When they were first shown in America under the standards of the
National Breeders and Fanciers of America, there were only three
recognized breeds: The American, the Abyssinia and Angoras (long
hair). In the early 1930's, Angora was changed to Peruvian and the
Silkie was cast aside. The Peruvian is noted for it's long, silky
hair. The side and rear sweeps should be of equal length for a
balanced look. The forelock covers the face. When presented for
judging on a show board the coat resembles a circle of hair. It is
sometimes difficult to tell front from rear on a Peruvian. Show
Peruvians need regular grooming and wrapping of the long coat to
keep it from being soiled or tangled. It can be a challenge, but the
results are stunning. Pet and breeder Peruvians are trimmed for
Breed Standard - ACBA The Peruvian cavy was the first long-haired
breed accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
-This breed is notable for it's long, dense, soft "sweeps" of hair
which can grow out to several inches in length.
-The Peruvian has a "frontal" of hair, which grows forward, covering it's head, giving
it an even, circular appearance when an animal in full show coat is
groomed out properly.
Behavior Guinea pigs can learn complex paths to food, and can accurately remember a learned path for months. Their strongest problem solving strategy is motion. While guinea pigs
can jump small obstacles, they are poor climbers, and are not particularly agile. They startle extremely easily, and will either freeze in place for long periods or run
for cover with rapid, darting motions when they sense danger. Larger groups of startled guinea pigs will "stampede", running in haphazard directions as a means of confusing
predators. When excited, guinea pigs may repeatedly perform little hops in the air (known as "popcorning"). They are also exceedingly good swimmers.
Summary If handled correctly early in their life, guinea pigs become amenable to being picked up and carried, and seldom bite or scratch. They are timid
explorers and often hesitate to attempt an escape from their cage even when an opportunity presents itself. Still, they show considerable curiosity when allowed to walk
freely, especially in familiar and safe terrain. Guinea pigs that become familiar with their owner will whistle on the owner's approach; they will also learn to whistle
in response to the rustling of plastic bags or the opening of refrigerator doors, where their food is most commonly stored.
Guinea pigs should be kept in pairs
or, preferably groups, unless there is a specific medical condition that requires isolation. Lone guinea pigs are more likely to suffer from stress and depression.
Domesticated guinea pigs come in many breeds, which have been developed since their introduction to Europe and North America. These varieties vary in hair and color
composition. The most common varieties found in pet stores are the English shorthair (also known as the American), which have a short, smooth coat, and the Abyssinian,
whose coat is ruffled with cowlicks, or rosettes. Also popular among breeders are the Peruvian and the Sheltie (or Silkie), both straight longhair breeds, and the
Texel, a curly longhair.
Cavy Clubs and Associations dedicated to the showing and breeding of guinea pigs have been established worldwide. The American Cavy
Breeders Association, an adjunct to the American Rabbit Breeders' Association, is the governing body in the United States and Canada. The British Cavy Council governs
cavy clubs in the United Kingdom. Similar organizations exist in Australia (Australian National Cavy Council) and New Zealand (New Zealand Cavy Club). Each club publishes
its own Standard of Perfection and determines which breeds are eligible for showing.