Can't get enough of long-haired guinea pigs? Here is everything you need to know about the Silkie guinea pig!
The Silkie guinea pig, also know as the Sheltie guinea pig, is one of the newest breeds of guinea pigs. Discovered in the 1970s by breeders in the United Kingdom, the Silkie was the result of crossbreeding a self black guinea pig (a breed of all-black short-haired guinea pig) with a Peruvian guinea pig.
Much like the Peruvian from which is descends, the Silkie guinea pig is known for their beautiful coat. Unlike the Peruvian, the Silkie's hair does not naturally part along its back. While all part of their coat is quite long, the Silkie guinea pig's hair tends to get longer further back on their body.
Not surprisingly, to keep their coat looking its best, the Silkie guinea pig requires regular grooming. Their coats can grow up to one inch a month, so owners need to provide regular grooming and trimming to ensure that the hair does not become matted or dirty. Full baths, however, should be avoided, as guinea pigs are sensitive to them. Instead, spot cleaning them as necessary is best.
The Silkie guinea pig is known to be the most gentle among all the guinea pig breeds. They have very laid-back personalities, but tend to be a bit shy when first meeting people. This shyness means that they make take longer to warm up to their owners, so consistent handling is necessary to increase their comfort. Due to this and their extensive grooming requirements, Silkie guinea pigs are not recommended for children or first-time owners.
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The Silkie guinea pig has a short, thick body shaped like a teardrop when viewed from above.
Silkie guinea pigs have long, straight hair with a silky texture that sweeps back from their head like a mane. Their hair does not part evenly along their back and gets longer further back on their body.
Silkie guinea pigs come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The most common colors are black, white, cream, lilac, blue, or any combination or colors.
Silkie guinea pigs are known to be the most gentle of the guinea pig breeds. They have laid-back personalities but tend to be a bit shy when first meeting people.
Body image courtesy of Guinea Lynx
Do you have a Silkie? Show us in the comments below!
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