Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Labrador Retrievers Like to Eat

OK. We already knew this. Labrador Retrievers like to eat.  Your vet will tell you that when you're dog stops eating it's an indication of illness. EXCEPT in the case of Labs- they'll continue to eat until they take their last dying breath.
Science Daily
Now researchers have discovered why a large number of Labs are more interested in food than other breeds.

A study links a gene alteration specifically found in a significant numbers of Labs to greater food-motivated behavior.  This is the first finding that a gene is associated with canine obesity.

And to all my friends who use Labs as guide dogs, this gene variant occurs even more frequently in Labs chosen for guide work.  This may be one reason why the breed makes up more than 60% of the dogs that graduate from assistance dog programs - they'll do just about anything for a food reward.

Below is my favorite guide dog. Paige may be fashionably svelte but she definitely likes to eat, so it's a constant struggle to keep food out of her mouth. Once it's in, she is more than reticent to give it up.

To read a summary of this very interesting research go to Science Daily.
Read the journal article:  Raffen et al. A deletion in the canine POMC gene is associated with weight and appetite in obesity prone Labrador Retriever dogs. Cell Metabolism, 2016

1 comment:

  1. Unusually for a science study, this one got quite wide coverage over here in the UK media. I heard a couple of interesting interviews with the authors.