Let me start off with an extremely controversial statement - something which is certain to whip the internet up into a frenzy and shake the Earth to its very core. Are you ready? Dogs - right - are very good.
One type of dog that is particularly good - in my eyes, in everyone’s eyes - is the Labrador. They are by far the most popular dog breed in Britain, down to their unrelenting friendliness, joy for literally everything in the entire world, and the fact they look fucking adorable as puppies.
Anyone who owns - or even who has met a lab know that they have a certain tendency to get, shall we say, a little portly. It’s fine, it just gives us more to love, but it does always make you wonder, why is it that Labradors in particular are so prone to getting fat? Is it something to do with their owners, or is it the dogs themselves that just can’t stop gorging?
Well, a new scientific discovery has found that the reason Labradors love stuffing their faces so much is because they’re ‘genetically hungry’, which is also how I will be referring to myself for the rest of time.
No wonder we love them so much - they’re just as unable to resist a tube of Pringles of that third slice of cake as we are. We’re basically one and the same.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered labs and some flat coat retrievers are genetically different to other dogs, in that they are unable to resist the lure of food, even if they have no need for it.
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.”
The study analysed 310 Labradors, weighing them, and getting their owners to fill out questionnaires. It found that almost a quarter of them had a copy of the POMC gene they were searching for, and these dogs were on average 1.9kg heavier than those who did not have it.
The University hope the study will “shift the paradigm away from owner-blaming”, but also, we hope it stops people fat-shaming these poor dogs. They can’t help it, OK? It’s literally in their genes.
Same doggos, same.