Anyone with a Doberman knows that their beloved dog is driven by his appetite.
Dobermans are always hungry, whether they’re staring at you next to the table or tilting their head at the sound of the fridge opening.
Well, now, scientists have figured out why dogs are quite so greedy. And it explains a lot.
On May 4, a study by the University of Cambridge was published in the journal Cell Metabolism about the reasons why dogs are so gluttonous.
The researchers revealed that one in four dogs carries a high ‘food motivation’ gene in their DNA, which means that these dogs don’t feel full after eating. So that’s why they carry on staring at you for food.
Recognise that face?
The scientists studied 310 dogs and asked their parents about their eating habits and if they showed signs of greediness.
The gene they discovered in a quarter of them has been likened to an ‘obesity gene’.
They found that those who carried it were 1.9kg heavier than those without it, even if their humans gave them regular exercise and a controlled diet.
Dr Eleanor Raffan who led the study said:
The gene affected is known to be important in regulating how the brain recognises hunger and the feeling of being full after a meal.
So there might be a scientific reason your beloved dog is staring at you wilfully for that last scrap of bacon. But don’t give in. Problems of obesity in dogs can often lead to joint problems and heart disease.
“People who live with dogs often say they are obsessed by food, and that would fit with what we know about this genetic change,” she finished.