Why Retrievers are Chow Hounds; ‘Alfie’ Tip the Scales at 176 Pounds

The New York Times:  The Lab Results Are In: Genes Might Be to Blame for Retrievers’ Obesity

If you’ve ever had a Labrador retriever, you know about one of the breed’s notable traits: an unrelenting appetite. The dogs will devour anything from socks to rocks, and given the chance, they can be prone to eat themselves into obesity. By one estimate, nearly 60 percent of all Labradors are overweight or obese.

In fact, the dubious honor of being named Britain’s fattest pet went to a176-pound Labrador named Alfie, who was rather uncharitably described by one official as “a massive blob with a leg at each corner.”

Labradors have been caught sitting under an apple tree waiting for the fruit to fall and dragging their owners to a spot in the grass where they once found a discarded kebab years before.

Is it a character flaw? Are they incorrigible gluttons? Scientists atCambridge University say no: Labradors can’t help it; it’s in their genes.


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