Just like humans, guinea pigs have a mother and a father. In the case of pedigree guinea pigs, this lineage traces back as far as possible, usually beyond the grandparents. With guinea pigs, unless you intend to breed commercially, a pedigree may not be worth the money.
Pedigree Guinea Pigs vs. Purebred Guinea Pigs
People use pedigree and purebred interchangeably, which understandably causes confusion. A pedigree guinea pig simply has a recorded breeding history. A purebred, on the other hand, simply has parents from the same breed.
Now, neither guarantees that the guinea pig pups will look how you want them to if you do breed them. It only increases the odds the pups will look how you want. Unfortunately, guinea pigs have recessive genes, and multiple genes can control some appearance traits.
The Showing Requirements
There are shows for guinea pigs, and each one will have slightly different rules. However, most tend to be concerned more with your guinea pig’s appearance and how it matches a particular breed rather than whether your guinea pig has a pedigree.
Some shows do divide guinea pigs into distinct categories based on parentage. Typically, this category is called purebred or professional. These shows also typically have a pet category, where anyone can enter.
Does Pedigree Matter if You Only Want a Pet Guinea Pig?
The short answer is no; pedigree should not matter with pet guinea pigs. That opens up the opportunity for rescues and adoptions when you’re looking for a new furry family member.
Some people argue that temperament has a significant genetic component. Therefore, getting a pedigree guinea pig means your guinea pig is more likely to have specific personality traits. That research is still inconclusive in its definitiveness.
At Guinea Pig Center, we believe every guinea pig can be taught and socialized into loving family members regardless of parentage.