Both sows (girls) and boars (males) guinea pigs equally make fantastic pets, but there are a couple of things to think about when making your decision on which Gender to get.
People often asked me when they are starting out, which Gender Guinea Pigs to get and there is much conflicting advice on the internet about which sex is better.
Remember that each Guinea Pigs has their own individual personality. Every piggie is completely different, and you just don’t know what you’re going to get until the have settled in with you.
The first question depends on if have any other guinea pigs?
If so, are they neutered? Both male and females can be neutered, and if you don’t want to be overrun with babies then you’ll probably need to neuter one or the other gender. Neutering males or females can be done by taking a trip to the vets, and it will probably cost somewhere in the region of £70 for males and £100 for females. Many experts recommend keeping either males or females only, as any operation for a guinea pig is pretty stressful and risky.
What gender/ how many/ what age?????
This is a question I get asked all the time and the answer has many answers too. People ideas on this are different too so you have to do what is right for you, but this is our advice that we give out at the piggery.
If you have a female Guinea pig already your options are as follows:
a) adopt an older female from a rescue
B) you can get a female baby from a reputable breeder or rescue
C) a get neutered boar.
If you have a single male, your options are;
a) you could get him a girlfriend or two as company. Almost all girls get on with boys and like to be in a herd, so you could get 1,2 or 3 girls. But you should always get your male neutered first!. This can be costly at about £80 and having an aesthetic can be risky, especially if your boy is over 3 years old.
b) You could get him a single boyfriend, but only get one. 3 boys just don't get on. But you are best to get him a young boar as a friend and not an older one. Once they have got their personalities, it is hard to try and bond 2 adult males together. Although if you want to rescue an older boar, most good rescues will try and bond them for you or offer a bonding service.
If you are starting out for the first time, your options are less restricted.
Here is our ‘take’ on the Genders
Boys are usually the friendliest towards humans, they are braver and are more likely to train better with daily handling.
We find boars have better personalities and they are more funny, robust, more outgoing, crazy - when they're lively they jump everywhere.
They are more likely to fall sleep on you and snuggle.
Boys like to live in 2’s, so if you just want 2 Guinea Pigs then two boys are perfect for you.
Some people say that boys always fight- This is not the case. If the hutch is plenty big enough and there is lots of room for them, they will not fight.
One male normally becomes the boss and as long as the other is ok at being the second in command, there is no problem.
I have never known 3 boys to get on after they go through the teenage years, although I have heard of 5 boys getting on ok. So, if you want a herd of boys, the bigger the herd the better.
Get your boys neutered while they are young. (see our page on Bereavement). Anaesthesia can be risker the older your Guinea pig is, so doing this young is a good idea. Getting them neutered can help towards bonding with a male or female if ever you need to find a new partner later in life. Neutering does not make them calmer nor friendly, so don’t consider doing this if you want to calm a fighting piggie.
Some boars can be a little bit smellier but not always.
If you want more than 2 Guinea Pigs, get girls. Girls like being in herds and like company.
Girls can be been more gentle, calm and delicate. They can be easier to handle and snuggle more, albeit just by laying down and resting their heads - no sleeping.
Girls can fight as much as boys can but do live better if space is limited, although they should always have the minimum cage/hutch size.
Girls can be slightly easier to bond with another female Guinea Pig in event of a bereavement. Although it does depend on personalities.
Our idea of a perfect set up.
As Guinea Pigs love company, we recommend having 2 girls and a neutered boy.
The reason behind this is
1- There will be no fighting. The boy is the boss of the herd and quickly dispels any unrest.
2- If one passes away, you do not have a lonely grieving Guinea Pig.