The color of a dog could affect its longevity
One study concludes that a chocolate-colored farmer will live less than black or white specimens, which determines that the color of a dog could affect its longevity. Inbreeding is the main risk factor.
A thorough study focused on the United Kingdom
The University of Sydney used 33,000 Labrador Retriever samples located in the United Kingdom United to conclude that the chocolate-colored variety is more likely to have a shorter life expectancy. In addition, it was shown that chocolate-colored farmers are also more prone to suffer ear infections and skin diseases .
The average life expectancy of farmers of other colors is 12.1 years, 10% higher than that of the chocolate-colored farmer. This color, recessive in this race, only occurs if both parents carry the gene that expresses it. That is why breeders usually resort to inbreeding practices to obtain chocolate-colored puppies , which reduces the genetic diversity of the farmer.
Inbreeding is not only affecting the chocolate-colored Labrador Retriever, but also to the entire race, especially in terms of the prevalence of obesity and hip dysplasia . The study estimated that 8.8% of farmers in the United Kingdom are overweight, especially in the case of castrated male specimens.
The dangerous consequences of canine inbreeding
Unfortunately, inbreeding in related animals is a fairly common practice in unethical breeders. The similarities in the genetic material of offspring from these practices can lead to the presence of defective genes or recessive diseases that would not have appeared in traditional reproduction.
Some autosomal recessive diseases caused by these practices can seriously affect to the health of a dog: epilepsy or cancer , for example, may appear due to inbreeding. Although others may go unnoticed or affect to a lesser extent the quality of life of your dog.
However, each and every one of these small defects have a cumulative character. That is: the more you cross-breed with related individuals, the poorer health conditions and the shorter the life expectancy the puppies will have.
The worst cases of inbreeding, according to the British association Kennel Club, can lead to infertility or the death of puppies . Previous genetic studies of prospective parents can help avoid the loss of genetic diversity of species, but responsible purchase or adoption by owners is, ultimately, the best long-term solution.