THE 13 RECOGNIZED CAVY BREEDS
The American Rabbit Breeders Association is the parent organization
of the
American Cavy Breeders Association  
The first cavy came from the wilds of the Andean mountains of Peru and it had a
short, smooth coat with brown/black ticked fur.  Since then, mutations occurred
which have resulted in a longer coat or in some cases a coarser coat.  
This is where our different breeds come from.  
The different breeds are broken down into categories of color called variety.
Therefore, within each breed are many different varieties.
The cavy first came into the United States about the mid 1700's and became popular
in the show ring around the last part of the 19th century.  At that time, there were only
three recognized breeds:   the American, which has a short, smooth coat, the Abyssinian,
which has a short, rough coat and the Angora, which has a long, smooth coat.  
The Aby arrived in England about 1861 and is among the oldest recorded breeds.
It is defined as being cobby shaped with a pattern of ridges and rosettes.  A rosette is
a swirl that radiates evenly from a pin-pointed center with each rosette being separated
from the next by an erect ridge of hair. There are four rosettes across the saddle area,
two across the rump, two on each hip and two on each shoulder.  They, like the other
breeds, come in a variety of colors.  It is desirable to have a rough texture to the coat
to make the ridges stand firm for good division of the rosettes.   
The Aby Satin has the same appearance and standard as the Aby, only
with the added beauty of the satin sheen.  The satinization of the coat
makes it harder to maintain the rough texture and in England is not
desirable because the judges often frown on it's soft coat.  It was
recognized as the eighth official breed by the ARBA in January 1986.
This breed is the oldest and most popular of all the cavies.  When it first arrived into the UK, it was
named the "English.”  
After being brought to the United States, its name has since been changed to the "American,” (despite
the fact that in the rest of the world it is still known as the English).  
It has a short, smooth coat, is well rounded and even from shoulders to hips.  In essence, the perfect pig
looks as solid as a brick with rounded corners. It has a slight bump on the back of it's neck known as the
crown.  It's nose is slightly rounded (Roman), not sharp and straight.  
Although it comes in many different varieties today, the original color of the wild cavy is brown, ticked
with black.  As they have been bred over the years a number of color mutations have occurred which is
why we have so many different ones today.
The satin coat started from a mutation in the American cavy back in 1976 and the
American Satin became the first satin breed to be recognized by the ARBA in January
of 1984.  Just about any breed can be satinized, meaning, you can make their coat
have a radiant sheen.  The reason it looks so luminous is that the hair shaft is hollow,
which causes it to reflect light, consequently giving it an intense look.  The Satin
breed must follow the same standard as their counterpart.
Many people unwittingly refer to the Teddy cavy as the Teddybear because of the Teddy
Bear hamster.  Actually, its name is simply Teddy.  It has a coat that is dense, wiry and
resilient to touch much like that of the Rex in England.  It started as a mutation in an
American tortoiseshell/white back in 1967 and did not take breeders long to start raising
them.  They are genetically different from the Rex (although they do look alike) and
breeding a Teddy to a Rex will result in short, smooth coated babies.  Since the Teddy is a
mutation that breeds true, it cannot be made from crossing other breeds.  It became the
fifth recognized breed in 1974 and is currently the most popular in the United States today.
The Teddy Satin was the eleventh breed recognized by the ARBA in January of 1990.  
It has all the qualities of the Teddy, but one major difference is satinizing the coat
causes it to become softer.  Although the standard does allow for a softer coat,
many breeders have noticed that judges will choose the harsher over the softer.
This breed originally came from Claire White of Masquerade Stud in England around the
mid 1970's.  They were originally called the Crested Sheltie but its name was changed in
1979 to Coronet.  It was developed by crossing the Sheltie (a Silkie) with an American
Crested.  On the other side of the ocean, (in the United States) around the late '70's and
early '80's, Coronets were being developed from several sources.   The Pankratzs of
California were developing them from pet quality crested Americans with longer rump
hair, which were in turn bred to top quality silkies; and also from Jennifer Lin of
Washington.  After all this time, the Coronet was finally recognized by the ARBA on
February 1, 1998.  It has long soft flowing fur with a crest on the top of its head.  It is
often described as a Silkie with a crest and can be shown in a variety of colors
The Peruvian first appeared in Paris in 1886 and is the ancestor of longhaired guinea
pigs.  It arrived in England about the end of the 19th century and in America about
the beginning of the 20th.  It was known as the Angora up until the mid-1930's when
its name was changed to Peruvian.  It has dense, silky fur with a pair of swirling
rosettes on each hip that causes the fur to grow in the opposite direction, flipping it
up over the head.  When completely groomed out into its show coat, it can look like a
circle of fur without knowing which end is the front.  
The Peruvian Satin was recognized as the 10th official breed in January of
1988, by the ARBA.  It has all the appearance and qualities of the Peruvian
with the added splendor of the satin sheen.
Around 1932, this breed had mutated from Peruvians because they were born without
rosettes.  When the Angora had its name changed to Peruvian, the Silkie was tossed
aside and forgotten.  It was re-introduced to the ARBA in 1980 and has since made a
full comeback.  
The Silkie coat is straight with no curls or rosettes and it should be very dense and
soft.  The nose is shorter than other breeds and it has a mane that grows from the
back of the neck, sweeping over the body, covering the part down the middle of its
back.  The silkie is judged mainly for its coat and comes in many varieties.
The Silkie Satin was the ninth breed recognized by the ARBA in January of
1987.  The Silkie Satin has all the features of the Silkie with the added
beauty of the satin sheen to the coat
The Texel was created by Masquerade Stud in England, back around 1980.   By crossing a
Rex boar with Silkie sows, it eventually yielded curly pigs with long fur.  This approach took
eight years to develop the Texel we see today.  When it was brought into the United States
the amount of animals was limited so new blood was needed to keep the line going.  Instead
of starting from scratch (which was a long process to get the coat at a nice length), the
Texel was crossed with a Silkie and then back to the Texel.  
It has a short body with a well-rounded head and long fur with flowing ringlets all over
including the belly.  Its coat should be dense, yet soft to the touch.  Its fur does not
matt as easily as other longhairs do.  Babies look like an ordinary Rex at birth, but start
to grow their long fur at about 8 to 10 weeks.  
Since the Rex and Teddy are genetically different, crossing a Texel with a Teddy will
produce smooth coated babies making it wise not to introduce Teddies into the line.  
The English version of the Texel has tight, kinky ringlets while the American version
has large, dense curls.  The reason for this difference is because in England, they
advocate brushing of the Texel, but in the US, brushing is cause for disqualification at
cavy shows.  The Texel became recognized by the ARBA in 1998.
The White-Crested is sometimes known as the American Crested because it looks like an American
with a white crest in the center of its forehead.  It was the fourth breed officially recognized by the
ARBA in January of 1974 and is perhaps the most challenging to work with.  No white hair, except
for the crest, is allowed to be present on the rest of the cavy.  You will seldom see a large entry
of this beautiful breed at the show table because some breeders have difficulty getting 1 in 50
show quality animals.  The White Crested breeders have introduced Satin into this breed,
although Crested Satin is not recognized by the ARBA.
It is recognized in Canada, (if you wish to raise and show them you can join a Canadian group).
I WISH TO THANK ALL WHOSE PICTURES APPEAR ON THIS PAGE.  
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VIEW THEIR WEBSITES.
KARIN AND KURT STUEBER
CAVY COTTAGE
BLACKGOLD CAVIES
BIVOIR CAVIARY
CHERISHED CAVIES
FORT YORK CAVIARY
NO SACRIFICE CAVIARY
MARSHALL STUD
1.   Abyssinian
2.   Abyssinian Satin
3.   American
4.   American Satin
5.   Teddy
6.   Teddy Satin
7.   Coronet
08.  Peruvian
09.  Peruvian Satin
10.  Silkie
11.  Silkie Satin
12.  Texel
13.  White Crested
ABYSSINIAN
ABYSSINIAN  SATIN
AMERICAN SATIN
TEDDY  SATIN
CORONET
PERUVIAN
PERUVIAN  SATIN
AMERICAN
TEDDY
WHITE CRESTED
TEXEL
SILKIE SATIN
SILKIE
PLEASE NOTE:  THIS BREED IN AMERICA IS CALLED SILKIE, WHILE IN ENGLAND
AND THE REST OF THE WORLD, IT IS KNOWN AS THE SHELTIE.