Ok, so you have decided to get a cute little friend – a guinea pig. But even though you already know what kind of pet animal you want, there are still so many questions that you need to answer!
One of the main questions being: Which gender should I pick?
Which guinea pig gender is better? Basically, any guinea pig will make a great pet, no matter if it’s a boy or a girl. But the truth is that the males are a little less shy and this fact might help you establish a wonderful relationship with your fluffy ball of happiness a little faster. It is really hard to say, as both females and males have their pros and cons. And we are totally ready to help you with that!
In the following sections, we will try to give you a more in-depth answer to this question.
The General Characteristics of Guinea Pigs
Let’s figure out what makes guinea pigs amazing pets in the first place. Are there some specific qualities that are typical of these cuties?
There are quite a lot of various guinea pig breeds. But no matter which one you are going to choose – all of them share some basic traits. Generally, guinea pigs are friendly animals that have a great attitude towards people. They are gentle and, in most cases, curious and playful.
You have to bear in mind that guinea pigs have strong personalities. And you will be able to vividly see the difference if you decide to adopt more than one furry ball.
Also, remember that guinea pigs are vulnerable animals that need to be treated with love. No wonder, because these tiny creatures can hardly defend themselves. And if there is something that they are scared of or that they don’t like – the guinea pigs might easily start stressing out because of that.
Which Guinea Pig Gender Is Better?
Did you know that male guinea pigs are called ‘boars’ and the females are ‘sows’?
A guinea pig of any sex will surely make a great pet. But your choice should certainly depend on the aims that you’re pursuing. In case you want to be able to breed guinea pigs in the future, it might be a great idea to get a boar first. You will then have as much time as you need to pick the perfect sow. If you initially pick a female, you will only have a couple of months to organize the whole process (the breeding of guinea pigs should ideally take place when the sow is between four and six months old).
If you are simply looking for a wonderful and docile pet for you or for your kids then any sex would do. Just make sure to handle the animal for a while before adopting it. The guinea pig should not bite and be overall aggressive. It might take you only a few minutes to assess the temperament of the little guy. It goes without saying that the cavy should have a healthy look as well.
The Pros & Cons of Boars – Male Guinea Pig
| Pros of Owning A Boar |
All-In-All, Boars Are Less Shy Than Sows
Of course, each cavy is different. And guinea pigs are the type of animals that have strong personalities. But, in general, males are a bit more outgoing. Boars can show their natural curiosity from day one. Essentially, it might be easier and quicker to establish a connection with a male guinea pig, rather than a female one. Though you should always remember that there are exceptions.
Boars Live Longer Than Sows
If you take good care of your beloved pet, the guinea pig would usually live between 5 to 7 years (unlike the other rodents that rarely pass the line of three years). However, male guinea pigs tend to live a bit longer than female cavies. But you should always bear in mind that the lifespan, firstly, depends on a healthy diet and the overall health of the animal.
With a Boar, You Don’t Need to Rush
If at one point, you decide that you want to try and mate your guinea pig with another cavy – it might be better to choose a boar. The age of the male pet does not really matter. So you have the opportunity to change your mind about whether or not you want to deal with baby guinea pigs as many times as you want.
| Cons of Owning A Boar |
The Males Are More Aggressive
This is the main difference between the sexes. And, frankly speaking, not only in guinea pigs. The males tend to be more aggressive. Especially, when it comes to defending their territory, for example. However, if you’re planning to keep one cavy, then there shouldn’t be any problems. But if you are thinking of introducing a new guinea pig, then a little clash of opinions might occur.
Boars Are a Little Messier Than Sows
Something that you may not even notice if you never had a guinea pig before. But boars tend to be a bit messier and not care about their house a lot. This simply means that you would need to spend more time cleaning the cage or that you would have to do that a little more often.
The Pros & Cons of Sows – Female Guinea Pig
| Pros of Owning A Sow |
Sows Are Highly Social
This one can simultaneously be both: a pro and a con. Sows adore being surrounded by other cavies and they might become very sad if left alone in their cage. If you want to have at least a couple of guinea pigs, then it’s better to choose females as they won’t get into fights. Moreover, cavies will become real friends.
All-In-All, Sows Are Neater
Sows are real girls that like to keep their houses nice and clean. There certainly can be exceptions, but overall the cage will stay neater if you have a sow.
| Cons of Owning A Sow |
Sows Are Shy
When it comes to interaction with humans, sows are shy and can even get scared. While the males are a bit more outgoing. It might take you a couple of months to establish a connection with your beloved pet. Don’t worry, if the female guinea pig won’t let you handle her for quite a while. The sow simply needs a lot of time to get used to you.
Which Guinea Pig Gender Is Better? (If You Want to Adopt More Than One Cavy)
It looks like if you want to have only one fluffy ball of happiness, then it’s better to adopt a boar. But what if you want two or even more guinea pigs running around and bringing you joy? Then you have three different options.
1. Two or More Females
Sows get along extremely well together. In fact, it is always better to get two sows from the very beginning, as the ladies don’t like to be left alone in the cage.
Moreover, it doesn’t matter whether the guinea pigs have been together from birth or not. The girls are gentle and friendly. But remember to give an equal amount of attention and food to both of the sows.
2. Two or More Males
Even though boars are more aggressive than sows, it does not necessarily mean that they will be constantly fighting. In fact, if the boys were together since birth – there shouldn’t be any major problems. However, some conflicts might arise, when it comes to defending one’s territory.
3. One of Each
A boar and a sow will, most certainly, have a lovely relationship. Bear in mind that if there are two males and a female, conflicts might arise. One extremely important thing that you have to remember is that the two guinea pigs would, most definitely, have babies. It might get dangerous if the sow is over one year old and has never given birth before. Around this time, the bones of the sow have already hardened. That means that the poor thing might end up being in a lot of pain when attempting to deliver babies.
By the way, if you end up getting a boy and a girl, you will certainly have a lot of fun observing their relationship. So cute!
So, which guinea pig gender is better for your lifestyle? Certainly, both of the sexes have their pros and cons. Make sure you know the main reason why you need to adopt the guinea pig in the first place. If you think that one pet will be more than enough, then a lot of guinea pig lovers suggest getting a boar.
Always remember that the females are social animals that can literally die of solitude. So, it’s a great idea to buy sows in pairs.
If you want to become a real guinea pig ‘parent’ and see your beloved pets give birth to guinea pigs, then getting a young sow and a boar is a perfect choice for you.