Since their recognition in 1998, Texels have become an increasingly popular breed for experienced cavy parents, especially those interested in guinea pig shows.
Do you know the origins of the Texel breed? What about grooming those gorgeous long locks? And do you want to know if the Texel is right for you?
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Texel Guinea Pig Origins
Texel guinea pigs take their name from a breed of sheep native to the island of the same name in the Netherlands.
First bred in England in the 80s, the Texel was produced by pairing a Rex with a Silkie. The resulting breed has the long coat of the Silkie and the curls of the Rex, producing an irresistible combination of cuteness!
Rex + Silkie = Maximal Cuteness!
Officially recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association in 1998, the Texel has been steadily growing in popularity among cavy enthusiasts. And due to its striking coat, it has become a perennial fixture at guinea pig shows.
Texel Guinea Pig Breed Characteristics
Some of the Texel’s coat color possibilities.
Smaller and more compact than many other breeds, Texels grow to just 8 to 10 inches long, with mature adults weighing between 1½ to 2½ pounds. Males are typically larger than females.
The Texel also sports a wide, flat face and short nose.
But the dominant characteristic of this breed is its long, curly coat. Sometimes riven by a natural part on its back, its wavy mane is short and fluffy on its face, growing to full-length only from the ears back.
Expect tight curls forming long ringlets with a fluffy, soft texture.
Texel Guinea Pig Care
Texels offer their pet parents significant grooming challenges, and 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 Texel’s beautiful coat is prone to tangling, and it tends to pick up bedding, feces, and pretty much anything else that can become trapped in those luscious locks!
You’ll need to brush a Texel at least several times a week, and some people find daily brushing necessary.
Not only will this help keep its coat in tip-top form, but also you’ll have the opportunity to check for mites, fleas, and any other pests that may have made a home on your cavy.
Vets recommend fine-tooth combs, and we really like Gnawrishing’s Flea Comb Combo. Safe for your cavies, it offers the super-fine teeth needed to catch each hair.
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 care. As long as you’re gentle and slow, you shouldn’t have any problems.
All that hair gets dirty fast! And whether we’re talking urine and feces, food, or soiled bedding, Texels need regular bath-time–probably once a month.
Most guinea pig breeds don’t need this kind of care, but for Texels, it’s essential. But 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 liquid using 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.
As you can see, this can be quite the adventure!
That can mean some regular trimming on their rear-end and sides to keep their coat clear of urine and feces.
You can use scissors for this, but I really like electric clippers because they work quickly and precisely and pose no danger to a delicate piggie. Using scissors demands more skill, and with a reluctant piggie in the mix, it can be a real hassle.
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 Texel’s side.
A couple of handy tutorials:
Regular ear check-ups
Just like people, guinea pigs produce ear wax. And as it builds up, it can provide a haven for bacteria, so it’s worth taking care of regularly. In fact, longer-haired breeds like Silkies and Texels tend toward more ear wax, and it’s definitely something to keep on top of.
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 Texel’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.”
Texel parents can use nail clippers designed for cats and work as a team to carefully trim their furry friend’s nails, being careful not to cut to the sensitive quick. If nail trimming stresses your guinea pig, 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 Texel Guinea Pig Right for You?
There’s no question about the Texel’s cuteness, but is it the right choice for you?
Texels, like Silkies, require a lot of grooming. And from daily brushing to monthly bathing–not to mention careful trimming, especially on their hind-quarters–Texels are definitely not low-maintenance!
Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall in love with those gorgeous ringlets and forget that they demand constant care.
Given those needs, we don’t recommend Texels for new guinea pig parents, and they don’t make great pets for young children, who just aren’t up daily grooming demands this breed places on its owners.
But if you’re an experienced cavy fanatic who has already adjusted to the daily needs of breeds like the American or Rex, the beautiful (or handsome) Texel might be just right for you. And especially if you’re interested in guinea pig shows, this breed is clearly a winner!