According to recent research, chocolate Labrador Retrievers have a significantly shorter lifespan than black and yellow Labradors.
After analyzing the veterinary records of nearly 33,300 Labradors, scientists out of the Royal Veterinary College have found that the breed, which has been ranked as the most popular in the United States since 1991, is host to a plethora of health problems, including obesity and joint conditions. On average, Labradors face a life expectancy of 12.1 years, while the average life expectancy for a chocolate Lab is just around 10.7 years.
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"The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding certain pigmentations," explained Sydney Professor Paul McGreevy according to The Daily Mail. Because the gene for a chocolate coat is recessive, two chocolate Labs are necessary for their puppies to be chocolate.
Demand for these puppies is high. But because of inbreeding, "it may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions,” McGreevy continued.
Not only are chocolate Labs more susceptible to ear infections -- 23 percent are affected, compared to the 13 percent of black labs -- but nearly 9 percent are obese.
For more on the study, watch the video above.
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