Our Labrador Shady begging for food, something she does all the time. The linked article suggests it is likely genetic.
When it comes to man’s best friend, science may finally have solved the mystery of their gluttony – some Labradors, it seems, are genetically predisposed to being hungry.
In research supported by the Dogs Trust, Dr Raffan and her colleagues have analysed DNA from the saliva of Labradors across the UK. They found that particularly greedy individuals possess a gene mutation responsible for increasing their appetite.
“We found around a quarter of pet Labradors have at least one copy of this mutation in the gene,” Dr Raffan explains. Their increased appetite manifests itself as a “food obsession”, familiar to dog-owners as begging or scavenging for food.
Dr Raffan cautions against any attempt to breed this “greedy mutation” out of Labrador lines. While it might predispose the dogs to obesity, a strong focus on food may also explain why Labradors are so easy to train and are such loyal human companions.
“If we try to get rid of the mutation, we might find we change the personality of the breed, and that would be a real shame,” she explains.