AJ Cavies

Showing Your

Guinea Pigs

Here are some hints and tips on getting your guinea pig ready for the show. To be entered in show all cavies must be over 12 weeks old, fit and healthy and if a sow not in pig.
 
If entering the pet section, the cavy will benefit from having a bath. For this I tend to use a animal shampoo but any normal shampoo would be fine. Most of them seem to enjoy their bath.
 
When getting a boar ready for a show the other area that might well need special cleaning is his grease spot, which is found at the base of the spine and tends to be greasier than the rest of the coat. To clean this I use Swafega Gel (used by Mechanics) rubbed in and then rinsed off. You may sometimes find a grease spot on sows as well.
 
After shampooing and rinsing the cavy make sure that you dry them off completely before returning them to their hutch. To do this I first wrap them in a towel to take off most of the water then I blow dry them with the hair dryer.
 
This is also the time that I check their claws to see if they need clipping. When clipping their claws make sure that you do not cut them back too far otherwise they will bleed. If you are new to showing & clipping their claws, it is better to leave it and ask someone at the show - most are only too happy to help.
 
It is best to bath your cavy a couple of days before the show if possible.
 
After the bath comes the brush. How you do this will depend on what type of coat your Guinea Pig has:-

If it is smooth coated you brush the hair downwards;
if your cavy is an aby type you then brush around the rosettes;
for a rex type you brush the coat up from the bottom to the head;
for a longhaired cavy you would brush the coat the way that it falls around the pig.
 
On the day of the show check to make sure your Guinea pig has no running lice on their coat; these seem to appear from nowhere. To make sure there are none on my Guinea Pigs I use a dog flea spray which is suitable for puppies as well. I spray them before I leave home for the show.
 
At most shows there will be pens for your Guinea Pig to go in during the show, but you will need to take them some hay and veggies to eat whilst they are there – and don’t forget water to drink.
 
When you get to the show your cavy will be given a pen number. This is the pen that they will go in for the show. You put them in their pen after giving them a final brush.
 
When the judge is ready to look at them they are taken over to the judging table. The judge will check their coat and grease spot to make sure they are clean; that the coat is free from lice & fleas; and that the Guinea Pig is fit, healthy, friendly and used to being handled.
 
If you are entering a cavy show held by one of the local clubs you normally have to send your entry in approx 2 weeks before the show. You will have had what is called a schedule which lists all the classes available to enter. You will see that the pets are split up into sections for smooth haired, rough haired and sometimes longhaired. In addition there will be the classes for what are known as pure breeds. There are 3 age groups - under 5 months; from 5 –8 months and then adult.
 
If you were showing your Guinea Pigs in the pure breed section of a show you would not bath your Aby or Rex cavies as this would make their coats too soft.

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