The origins of the guinea pig are well known, they have existed for quite a long time, originating from South America. They were nocturnal animals which wandered grassy and rocky regions of the continent. They were sociable animals that lived in group of up to ten animals. They were primarily domesticated by South American tribes, such as those native to Peru and Bolivia around 2000BC.
They were kept as pets, given as gifts and even used in traditional medicine, or even by doctors in order to diagnose serious diseases. When Europeans reached the Americas they began bringing the domesticated guinea pigs back to Europe with them. They were kept by some of the most wealthy people within the society, even Queen Elizabeth possessed one of these sought after pet rodents. It was the European influence that made these lovable creatures the famous pet that they are today. Although the Teddy Guinea Pig is not one of the original sub-species founded this far back in our past, it is worth noting as an attractive species to own as a pet in the modern age. The name ‘Teddy’ refers to this species resemblance to a favourite childhood toy, the teddy bear. The Teddy Guinea Pig has dense fur that mimics the fur that is used to cover this stuffed animal. Their coats are also wiry and rough, while sticking out from the body of the guinea pig, although some can be somewhat soft as well. Their nose as well resembles those that can be found on a teddy bear. It s short and somewhat upturned, also called a ‘Roman Nose’, which is wider and curvier than most other species. This nose is also a defining feature of the American Guinea Pig, which is why there is sometimes some confusion between the two sub-species. If you want a pet that is cute and cuddly, there is no by passing the Teddy Guinea Pig. A pet that can be loving, fun and reminds you of your favourite childhood toy? Who could resist! Like some other breeds, such as the Texel Guinea Pig, the Teddy Guinea Pig has been created from some genetic mutation. This refers to the mixing of breeds until we came across the sub-species that we recognise today. The exact origin of this guinea pig is not known for sure, some believe that it was the result of scientific experiments. This is not as scary as it seems, as some species have been accidentally discovered by creating a certain mix of genetic variants for research purposes. Another sub-species that was discovered in this way was the Skinny Pig, that was bred for the purpose of conducting dermatological studies. The alteration of its DNA gave it the notable characteristics we recognise today. The Teddy Guinea Pig is now recognised as its own breed by the ACBA, as well as its counter part, the Satin Teddy. Between the years of 2010 and 2011, 15% of guinea pigs at conventions were known as Teddy Guinea Pigs and during the same time period, Satin Teddies accounted for 6%.