Robustness

Robustness in Labrador Retrievers

One of the characteristics common to Labrador Retrievers is robustness (a large ratio of skeletal muscle mass). This trait has traditionally been enhanced by frequent exercise and a high-protein diet. It is safe to assume that genetic factors also contribute to the robustness of Labradors. Labradors originate from the cold climates of Newfoundland, Canada, where robustness has been a protective trait for the breed. Therefore the breed's genome may have accumulated genetic material that reinforces theses characteristics. We aim to discover the heredity of robustness and the specific genetic factors contributing to the development of robustness. The factors underlying robustness can be divided into two categories:

1)    Genetic factors controlling appetite
2)    Metabolic factors that increase the storage of energy received from food into muscle tissue

We aim to uncover these mechanisms by comparing the genetic differences and similarities of dogs to their physiological differences. In order to gain accurate and reliable results, we need a large quantity of blood samples from Labrador Retrievers with different body builds.

More information about the project: Osmo Hakosalo (osmo.hakosalo(at)helsinki.fi)