Male vs Female Guinea Pig: Sexing Guide & Behavioral Characteristics

male vs female guinea pig

Guinea pigs are small mammals. The way they look at you can melt your heart. They are just too cute! If you’re thinking of bringing one into your family, it’s a great decision. But, let us warn you, they can be a handful.

You have a question on your mind now. Will a male or female guinea pig be better for my home? It depends on the guinea pig.

This article will differentiate between a female and male guinea pig to help you choose the suitable one. So hold on tight!

How to Tell if Guinea Pig is Male or Female

It’s a bit difficult to tell a guinea pig’s gender because of their small size. But there are clearly some differences you can look for to differentiate between the two. Appearance and behavior are beneficial when determining the sex of a guinea pig. So, let’s have a look.

Behavioral Characteristics of Male & Female Guinea Pigs

Allowing yourself to know the behavioral characteristics of your guinea pigs will help you give them a good life. Plus, you’ll also know which guinea pig suits your household and personality.

1. Playfulness: Male guinea pigs are more confident than females, so they are automatically more playful. But playfulness doesn’t always depend on gender. If you handle your pet from a young age, they will learn to trust you and be willing to play more.

2. Territory: Female guinea pigs aren’t as territorial as males. If you keep three or more males in a cage, they will have no problem fighting each other for a significant share of the territory.

3. Temper: It’s thought that male guinea pigs are temperamental. They can throw tantrums, mess up the cage, and throw out their food. Whereas females are known to be more skittish and shy. But these temper tantrums can be reduced by helping your guinea pig adjust to you.

4. Friendliness: Males are very friendly. You can carry them in your hand, and they will also sit on your lap. How sweet! They will trust and get attached to you easily. On the other hand, females take a lot of time to trust.

guinea pig and little girl staring at each other
Image credit: vovan, Shutterstock

★ Bonus Question: Do male guinea pigs have nipples?

Yes, males and females both have nipples on their bodies. But as the females naturally give birth at some point, they have more prominent nipples than the male. But, these aren’t much helpful in determining gender.

Appearance Difference between Male & Female Guinea Pigs

Behaviors can be confusing, and hard to determine the sex of a guinea pig. So, what can help? Well, guinea pigs do have apparent appearance differences. Let’s look at them.

  1. Size: Males usually weigh around 2-2.5 lbs, whereas females weigh around 1.5-2 lbs. There’s a one-third difference in weight, but sometimes it doesn’t help much.
  2. Fur: Males can have luxurious, longer fur than females. But both of them look equally cute and amazing!
  3. Reproductive Organs: Sexual organs are a clear giveaway of the sex of guinea pigs. The female genital area resembles a “Y” shape, and the male genital area resembles an “i” shape. Male genitals also look like a straight line with a bump at the top. The bump is their genitals.

❔Did You Know: A baby guinea pig is called a pup, females are called sows, and males are called boars.

A Guide to Sexing Guinea Pigs

You have found your perfect pets, but you just can’t figure out their gender. The pet store you got them from wasn’t helpful either. As your guinea pigs are still babies, you are having difficulty knowing their gender. It can lead to unexpected litter; that’s why we are here!

An easy guide can help you to sexing your little fur babies. It will help them be healthy and keep you away from the pressure of nurturing unwanted small pups.

Sow (Female)Boar (Male)
Sows are generally smaller than boars and have more prominent nipples.Boars are larger in size and have small nipples.
To accurately find the gender, gently pick them up and flip them on their back.You can easily identify a boar by running your fingers through the genital area. If you feel a small bump, then that’s a male.
Then gently spread the fur from the genital area.Male pups can be hard to identify. So flip them over gently and spread the fur from the genital area.
If you see a visible “Y” shape, that’s a female!If you see a small letter “i” shape. It’s a boar.
Older sows have a less distinct “Y” shaped genital, which can be harder to identify. But if it still resembles a “Y,” it’s a sow.Moreover, gently pressing your finger over the bump will allow the genital to poke out.
A Guide to Sexing Your Guinea Pigs

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve correctly identified your pets, it’s up to you if you want a litter of pups or not.

If you want more pups running around, keep the male and female guinea pigs together. Otherwise, get the boar neutered.

Did you think we were going to say to keep them separate? No way, we aren’t heartless! Guinea pigs are social, herd animals. They can’t live alone and be happy.

Moreover, neutering the male and avoiding a surprise litter is much better than keeping the little piggies separated. But, unfortunately, you do have to keep them separate until you get the male neutered because they start mating at an early age of one month.

? Did You Know: Guinea pigs are fast breeders. They can birth a litter of 2 to 8 pups. According to the Guinness World Record, the largest litter size was 9 pups in 1992.

Pregnancy in Guinea Pigs

If you couldn’t separate your pets at the right time, your sow might be pregnant! It’s a sweet surprise, though. If you have doubts about your sow’s pregnancy, take them to the vet for a complete checkup. Your vet will get ultrasounds or other tests to ensure the pregnancy.

Sows need a lot of care during pregnancies, and complications can also occur. Throughout their pregnancy period, which is 52-73 days long, you have to look out for abnormal behaviors, give proper exercise, nutritional food, and lots of love. Even after the pregnancy, there are lots more things to take care of. It’s not so easy being a grandma!

You may also like: Is a Hamster a Rat?

9 Tips for Bonding Guinea Pigs

Looking for a playmate for your guinea pig? So exciting! Guinea pigs are better in pairs, and they also feel happier too. But sometimes, if you introduce a new pet to your old one, fights can take place.

To avoid this disastrous situation, we have nine tips for bonding your guinea pigs to avoid such disastrous situations.

  1. Quarantine your new guinea pig until you get them checked by a vet for illness or pregnancy.
  2. If your old guinea pig has recently lost a bonded friend, introduce them to a pup. They will immediately feel attached and bonded.
  3. Take notice of your new guinea pig’s temper, behavior, age, and size when pairing it with your old pet.
  4. Before placing your new guinea pig in the hutch, clean the hutch properly. Wash out everything and throw out old hay replacing it with new grass and bedding. If you want, you can also rearrange the layout. It will help your old guinea pig not get territorial about the space.
  5. It’s better to pair the same gender to avoid neutering or spaying.
  6. Make sure both boars or sows have enough space to move in the cage.
  7. Set up a neutral space for introducing a new guinea pig. It will help to get familiar with each other’s scent and bond onwards.
2 guinea pigs sitting together in the garden
Image credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

8. When both of your pets behave well, give them a leafy-green treat to support their good behavior.

9. Give treats to your guinea pigs in the introductory space to associate positive reinforcement of behavior.

Adorable Guinea Pig Names

You’re searching for a sweet, suitable name for your pair of guinea pigs. You just stumbled upon the right place.

Here are 15 adorable names for your lovely pets:

  1. Thyme and Rosemary
  2. Choco and Cookie
  3. Ava and Eve
  4. Sol and Luna
  5. Ruby and Sapphire
  6. Biscuit
  7. Nibbles
  8. Ginger
  9. Blossom
  10. Buttercup
  11. Bubbles
  12. Poppy
  13. Milo
  14. Cinnamon
  15. Chase


Guinea pigs are known to be excellent pets, and you’re lucky if you have one. But don’t forget to give your furry friend a playmate so they can stay happy together. Our bonding tips will also come in handy at that time.

We hope you learned how to find your guinea pig’s gender. It’s not that hard, right! Hope you got your guinea pigs to bond too. Write to us about your experience with your guinea pigs and mention their adorable names. We love to hear your fun stories. Have a great day ahead!

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