Chocolate or brown labrador dogs tend to have more health problems and less life expectancy than other specimens of the same breed but of different color. And this may be due to genetic causes, as can be deduced from the results of a study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College in London.
Labrador dogs usually live an average of 12.1 years, but in the case of those of chocolate color that life expectancy is reduced by three months. The study authors have analyzed the genetic data of a sample of more than 30,000 copies of labrador dogs.
And the conclusion they have reached is that the gene that produces that chocolate-colored pigmentation is recessive. Which means that to obtain a coat of that color, said gene must be present in the father and mother. That would translate into a smaller genetic variety that would influence these animals to have more health problems.
Researchers have observed that chocolate-colored farmers are more likely to have ear infections, joint problems, and suffer from a particularly painful type of dermatitis.