Lunkarya Guinea Pig 101: All About the Crazy-Haired Guinea Pig

Two Lunkarya Guinea Pigs Playing in Yard

Originally called “Lunk,” Lunkarya is a rare guinea pig breed hailing from Sweden. Lunkarya is a long-haired guinea pig breed with a coarse and scurfy coat and hair spreading in all directions—like sheep. The unkempt appearance gives Lunkarya guinea pigs wild looks, making guinea pigs lovers fall in love at first sight.

Perhaps, they have won your heart as well. But before you rush and bid on a Lunkarya guinea pig for sale, we advise that you first familiarize yourself with this breed. And only bring a Lunkarya guinea pig home if you are sure you can provide for their grooming requirements.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig

Lunkarya Guinea Pig

A variation of the Peruvian guinea pig, Lunkarya guinea pigs have a long curly-haired coat, with hair sticking out at various angles. Like Sheba guinea pigs, they are often called “bad hair day guinea pigs.” It is impossible to comb their hair flat, and thus it looks like their hair always looks like they just came out of bed. They are highly energetic with a calm and sociable disposition.

If you have been charmed by a Lunkarya guinea pig and want to bring home one, you should continue reading as we are going to discuss all there is to know about their rare guinea pig breed. Before we start looking into the deets, take a quick look at the Lunkarya guinea pig breed overview.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Breed Overview
Scientific NameCavia porcellus
Other NamesLunk
Length8 to 12 inches
Weight1.5 to 2.5 pounds
Lifespan5 to 8 years
DietHerbivores (timothy hay)
CageAt least 30×36 inch
Ideal temperature range65 to 75° F
TemperamentHighly energetic, gentle, social
Suitable forExperienced guinea pig owners
Lunkarya  Guinea Pig Scoreboard
Like to be held4/5
Grooming Requirements5/5
Good with other Guinea Pigs5/5
Good with Children4/5

Lunkarya Guinea Pig History

Lunkarya guinea pig was first discovered in Sweden. Unlike Sheba guinea pigs, which were developed by the crossbreeding of Peruvian guinea pigs with Abyssinian guinea pigs, Lunkarya guinea pigs resulted from a natural mutation. The first Lunkarya guinea pigs appeared in the litter of a Peruvian guinea pig litter in Sweden. This unique guinea pig had an incredibly dense and coarse coat.

This guinea pig was named Prince Adams, and when he was bred, the offspring also inherited the unkempt appearance of Prince Adams. This led to the foundation of this unique and rare guinea pig breed. Though the Lunkarya guinea pig is not recognized as a separate breed by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA), they are duly recognized by the British Cavy Council (BCC).

They are quite popular and common in Sweden and many other European countries like UK and Netherlands but are quite rare in the United States and other parts of the world.

Lunkarya is Pronounced Lunka-ree-a!
The name Lunkarya was formulated by combining two words: “Lundqvist,” the surname of the people who discovered it, and “rya,” Sweedish for sheep.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Personality and Temperament

Lunkarya guinea pig is gentle and even-tempered. They are highly energetic but have a calm and sociable disposition. They love to interact not only with their cage mates but also love being gently held and stroked by their loving owners. But like other guinea pig breeds, you should give them some time to get familiar. Once they recognize you as their well-wisher, they will start warming up to you.

They make great family pets and would make great pets for children as well if there is someone to take care of their grooming requirements. Lunkarya guinea pigs are even-tempered and social creatures; they love the company of other guinea pigs or their loving owners. In fact, it is strongly advised that you always keep them in pairs. Like other guinea pig breeds, Lunkarya would also be the happiest and healthiest when they have cage companions. 

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Appearance

Lunkarya guinea pigs have short, cobby bodies covered with dense, curly, long-haired coats. They have an unkempt appearance as their hair is sticking in all directions. Their coat is quite dense and harsh, and coarse in texture. According to the BCC, they should have curls in a ringletted fashion from the base of the coat to the tips.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Appearence
Image by schweine_insel

Though Lunkarya guinea pigs have a wind-blown, unkempt appearance, they have long hairs of even length on their body, except for the hair on their face which is a bit shorter.

Lunkarya guinea pigs come in different variations featuring different coat characteristics. There are three variations of Lunkarya guinea pigs: Peruvian, Sheltie, and Coronet. Below we have briefly discussed these three Lunkarya guinea pig variations.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Variations
Lunkarya PeruvianThey have a unique long forelock of hair just above their foreheads
Lunkarya SheltiesThey have long curly hairs flowing backward on their bodies
Lunkarya CoronetThey have a beautiful crown-like crest on their foreheads

Lunkarya is an average-sized guinea pig breed, weighing around 1.5 to 2.5 pounds and about 8 to 12 inches in length. However, their long curly coats make them look bigger than their actual size. Moreover, female Lunkarya guinea pigs are a bit smaller than their male counterparts.

How to Care for a Lunkarya Guinea Pig?

These adorable fluffballs’ even temperament and interactive nature might make one think that Lunkarya guinea pigs would make a good pet for them. However, you should know that they are extremely high-maintenance, requiring daily grooming. Continue reading to learn if you can take care of Lunkarya guinea pigs.

Feeding Lunkarya Guinea Pig

Feeding Lunkarya guinea pigs is no different than feeding guinea pigs in general. Like other guinea pigs’ diets, the Lunkarya guinea diet should consist of quality timothy hay, guinea pig pellets with fortified vitamin C, treats, and fresh fruits and veggies.

You should ensure that your Lunk has a constant supply of timothy hay. Munching on timothy hay provides the much-needed fibers and keeps the ever-growing guinea pig teeth in check. In addition to hay, you should also provide guinea pig pellets to your guinea pig daily to make for their nutrient requirements.

Besides, as guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, you should provide vitamin C supplements to your guinea pigs. Though there is vitamin C in most guinea pig pellets, it is not enough. Guinea pigs need around 10 to 50 mg of vitamin C every day. Therefore, you must provide them with vitamin C supplements.

You can also feed your guinea pig veggies rich in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and asparagus. You can also feed many other fruits and veggies to your guinea pig, including lettuce, broccoli, spinach, arugula, squash, collard greens, apples, strawberries, oranges, etc. to your guinea pigs. But while feeding fruits and veggies to guinea pigs, you should know that moderation is the key.

Grooming Lunkarya Guinea Pig

Given their dense, long-haired coat, Lunkarya guinea pigs are high maintenance, requiring daily grooming. Though their hair cannot be combed flat, they still need regular brushing to keep their hair from knotting and matting.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig grooming

If you are not planning on presenting your Lunkarya guinea pig in shows, we advise that you trim their hair. This would make them less susceptible to heatstroke and reduce the risk of knotting and matting.

Besides daily brushing, you will also have to bathe your Lunkarya guinea pig every other week. The fluffy scurfy coat of Lunkarya guinea pigs seems to attract all the debris and dust around, so you should keep them inside. If they happen to get out on the lawn, you will have to thoroughly brush their coat and bathe them to get all the debris trapped in their hair. After bathing, you should immediately dry them using a soft cotton towel. If you let your wet guinea pig roam around, he would get himself dirty again in a matter of minutes.

Besides brushing and bathing, you should also have to check your Lunkarya guinea pig’s eyes and ears for any discharge buildup or any sign of infection.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Enclosure Set-up

As mentioned earlier, Lunkarya guinea pigs are highly energetic and love to roam around freely. Lunkarya guinea pig cage for two should be at least 30 x 50 inches, but if you are keeping a single guinea pig, the cage size can be 30 x 36 inches. However, if you have the space and resources, you can make your piggy’s cage as big as you can afford. 

You should provide them with comfortable bedding, hideouts, and toys. Lunkarya guinea pigs are smart and get bored pretty easily and might start nibbling their fur.

Besides having a spacious cage, they also require to be taken outside the cage to roam and play in a wide-open space—a closed room. You can interact with your guinea pig during this time; you can also train and teach him various skills using delicious guinea pig treats.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Health

Though Lunkarya Guinea Pig is an overall healthy breed, they are prone to various health issues.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Health Issues
Health IssuesHow To Avoid
 HeatstrokeKeep them inside. If it’s warm, take measures to keep your piggy cool
 DiarrheaLimit the amount of guinea pig-safe fruits and veggies
Scurvy / Vitamin C deficiencyProvide vitamin C supplements around 10 to 50 mg per day
 PneumoniaMake sure that your guinea is warm when it gets too cold
Over-grown nailsRegularly trim your guinea pig’s nails to reduce the risk of infection and prevent pain
Should You Get a Lunkarya Guinea Pig?
A rare guinea pig breedRequire daily brushing
Unkempt, wind-blow appearanceProne to heatstroke
Even-tempered, gentle, and sociable 

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Names

Naming a guinea pig can be an overwhelming task, to get you started, we have shared a list of common Lankarya guinea pig names below.

Lunkarya Guinea Pig Names
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