About Göttingen Minipigs

Learn about the background of Göttingen Minipigs, how to ensure proper housing and care, and how we ensure a high level of animal welfare.


Genetic background

Göttingen Minipigs are the result of a crossing of three different breeds: The Minnesota Minipig, the Vietnamese Potbelly, and the German Landrace, each selected due to their distinguished characteristics. 

The attributes of Göttingen Minipigs make them particularly attractive for biomedical research, as they enable clear and unambiguous scientific results.

Did you know...

Göttingen Minipigs are selected for all aspects of pharmaceutical research due to their:

  • Small size
  • Genetics
  • Background data
  • Health status
  • Similarity to humans
  • Availability in large uniform groups

How Göttingen Minipigs came to be

Göttingen Minipigs were bred at the Univeristy in Göttingen, Germany in the 1960s:

  • In 1960 Minnesota Minipigs were imported from the Hormel Institute, Austin, USA, and Vietnamese potbelly pigs were imported from Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany. From this crossbreeding came a coloured population of minipigs.
  • In 1965 additional Vietnamese potbelly pigs were imported from Zoo Friedrichsfelde, East Berlin, Germany. This crossbreeding resulted in a yet smaller and whiter population of pigs.
  • In 1965–1969 the German Landrace was added to the equation to develop white skin.
  • In 1969 the breeding of Göttingen Minipigs as we know them today was complete.

Genetic management

Genetic management is required to minimise inbreeding and drift and to maintain the genetic integrity of the population. The genetics for the entire breeding population is still managed in Göttingen, Germany and all breeding data dates back to the 1960s.

Today, the entire breeding population is found in four physical locations (Dalmose, Denmark; Göttingen, Germany; North Rose, New York, US; and Tokyo, Japan). Despite separation into sub-populations, Göttingen Minipigs remain genetically coherent across continents.

Minnesota Minipig

Attractive characteristics: Small size and gentle temper

Vietnamese Potbelly

Attractive characteristics: Fertility and low body weight

German Landrace

Attractive characteristics: Light skin

Need more information?

If you need more information about the genetic foundation of Göttingen Minipigs, please contact us.