The cute Coronet is among the most popular long-haired breeds, and its distinctive rosette is truly a show-stopper. Generally the best match for experienced owners and those interested in shows, Coronets also make excellent companions, though their long coats demand quite a bit of care.
Do you know the origins of the Coronet breed? What about grooming that beautiful coat? And do you want to know if the Coronet is right for you?
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Coronet Guinea Pig Origins
Coronets were first bred in the UK in the 1970s, the result of crossing a Silkie (no surprise there!) with a Crested. Known for their gorgeous coats and sociability, the Coronet quickly grew in popularity.
Crested + Silkie = Coronet!
First recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1998, the Coronet is now a fixture at shows–though it makes a great companion, too!
Coronet Guinea Pig Breed Characteristics
Coronets are average-sized guinea pigs, and you can expect an adult to measure from 8 to 16 inches and weigh between 1½ to 3 pounds. Males are typically larger than females.
The dominant characteristics of this breed are its long, flowing coat and short forehead rosette. As you’d expect from its Silkie parentage, you’ll find the Coronet’s coat long and soft, and it often sports a natural part down the middle. But in contrast to the Silkie, whose hair grows rearward from its face, the Coronet wears a small, short rosette.
Fun-loving, playful, and inclined to socialize, the Coronet has won just as many fans at home as it has on stage, and whether you crave the spotlight of guinea pig shows or just a beautiful furry friend, you’re sure to be drawn to its irresistible cuteness!
Coronet Guinea Pig Care
Like their Silkie relatives, Coronets offer their pet parents significant grooming challenges. As a result, they’re best reserved for experienced cavy owners.
In addition to the standard dietary and space requirements common to all guinea pigs, this breed demands additional grooming:
The Coronet’s beautiful coat demands more or less constant care, and you’ll need to brush every day to keep its coat in top form.
As guinea pig grooming expert Melinda Wolff-Foster explains, “They require careful daily combing with a stainless steel comb, along with regular, professional grooming so their coat, skin and nails remain in good condition.”
But look on the bright side: daily brushing gives you a chance to spend quality time with your cavy, and it’s a great way to bond with your furry friend!
We’ve had good luck with Gnawrishing’s Flea Comb Combo. Vets and grooming experts recommend fine-toothed combs, and Gnawrishing’s combo delivers the tight gaps that are essential for proper care.
But be careful! You don’t want to hurt your guinea pig when loosening tangles, and some pet parents like to use baby brushes for daily brushing. As long as you’re gentle and slow, you shouldn’t have any problems.
All that beautiful hair tends to pick up anything it comes in contact with, including urine, feces, food, and soiled bedding. And as much as they may not like it, Coronets need regular bath-time–probably once a month.
Guinea pigs tend not to enjoy bath time, but your Coronet–and your nose!–will thank you later. Be warned, though: Your cavy may need a bit of coaxing, and a few treats, to cooperate.
Indeed, as PetMD warns, “Guinea pigs do not typically like to be immersed in water, so just an inch or two of warm water in the sink, with a sink sprayer to rinse off the shampoo, works great.”
Vets recommend using liquid Dawn or Ivory soap, and you need to be careful to rinse your furry buddy carefully to remove all those suds. Follow with a towel dry, or a hairdryer on low heat, to get your friend warm and dry. But we also really like Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo, a common choice among professional groomers.
Whatever you pick, bathing a cavy can be interesting!
One thing long-haired guinea pig enthusiasts can tell you is that proper trimming is essential, and to cut down on bathing, you’ll need to keep those gorgeous locks short–especially at the rear.
Scissors are fine, but they require a bit more skill than I can muster. Instead, I prefer to use electric clippers, which have the added bonus of no sharp points!
My favorites clippers for pets are the time-tested Oster 76–there’s no coat they won’t trim. And the included 000 guard is just what you need to clip a clean edge on your Coronet’s side.
A couple of handy tutorials:
Regular ear check-ups
Guinea pigs need some ear wax, but too much can create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Long-haired breeds, in particular, tend toward ear problems, so if you’re thinking about a Coronet, this is something to keep in mind.
If you suspect a serious build-up of wax, make an appointment with your veterinarian!
Every two weeks, you’ll want to work a good outer-ear cleaning into your Coronet’s care rituals, but never try to clean deep in your guinea pig’s ear! Instead, you’ll want to use high-quality cotton swabs and a drop of mineral oil to gently clean any loose debris and wax from your furry friend’s ears.
If you’re not sure how to go about this, just watch this video:
Monthly nail trimming
According to PetMD, “All guinea pigs need to have their nails trimmed periodically, typically every month to two months. The frequency of trimming depends on the guinea pig’s age, diet, cage substrate, and activity level. Younger guinea pigs’ nails typically grow faster than older ones’, and those that are fed nutritionally balanced diets generally grow faster as well.”
Nail clippers designed for cats work well, and we find that tackling this as a team is often best. While one person cuddles the cavy, the other can carefully trim their furry friend’s nails, being careful not to cut to the sensitive quick.
Another tip: if trimming is stressful for your piggy, slow down! You can work on one or two nails per session, resuming when it has had time to calm down.
Here’s a good how-to guide:
Final Thoughts: Is the Coronet Guinea Pig Right for You?
The Coronet is as distinctive as it is cute, but is it the right choice for you?
There’s no way around it: Coronets are pretty high-maintenance. Unfortunately, they’re also easy to fall for, helping you to forget that they demand more or less constant care.
If you’re not up for daily brushing, monthly trimming, and occasional bathing, the Coronet might not be the best option.
And given those needs, we don’t recommend Coronets for new guinea pig parents or as pets for small children. Without experience, know-how, and some serious time commitments, the Coronet just won’t get the care it deserves.
That said, their playful, sociable temperament can make them great additions to families that understand that adults (or older children) will need to take good care of these cavies.
For experienced guinea pig parents, the Coronet can be an awesome choice. Among the more sociable breeds, they make excellent companions if you don’t mind a few grooming challenges. And packed full of fun, their irresistible good looks make them a show-stopper for people who are interested in competition.