One of the world's favourite doggos, the Labrador are well known for their love and happiness. They're also known for being greedy as f*ck.
However, new research reveals that the pups may put on weight not because they've pigged out, but because they carry a certain gene that keeps them obsessed with food. If you've got a Lab, this may sound familiar...
Researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered a genetic variation which they argued drove some Labs and flat coat retrievers to be obsessed with dinner, causing them to beg constantly or drool at the sound of a biscuit tin opening.
They argued that these dogs may be "genetically hungry" rather than spoiled little pigs.
K let's just pause for a second for this:
Ok, now to resume.
The uni hopes that these findings will 'shift the paradigm away from owner-blaming', but warned that attempts to breed the gene out of the dogs would be foolish, as it might also remove traits that make Labradors so very lovable.
In the study 310 Labradors were analysed. They were weighed and the owners filled out a questionnaire. Researchers noted that almost a quarter of the dogs had a copy of POMC, an obesity-related gene they were looking for. The dogs were on average 1.9kg heavier, unusual given it was the owners who control how much exercise and food a dog gets. It therefore seemed like there may be a genetic trend rather than a human cause for weight increases.
Dr Eleanor Raffan, who led the study said "This is a common genetic variant in Labradors and has a significant effect on those dogs that carry it, so it is likely that this helps explain why Labradors are more prone to being overweight in comparison to other breeds. However, it's not a straightforward picture as the variant is even more common among flat coat retrievers, a breed not previously flagged as being prone to obesity."