The color of a Labrador Retriever coat seems to be related to its longevity and health, according to new research.
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Chocolate laboratories tend to live shorter lives than their yellow and black counterparts, and they tend to have a high degree of skin and ear disease, reported Live Science and quoted a new study of an international research.
The researchers, part of a research project called VetCompass, studied about 2,000 laboratories from a major database containing information about more than 30,000 of the breed.
They found that the chocolate laboratories had a higher incidence of ear and skin diseases and lived an average of 1
0.7 years compared to the black and yellow laboratories for 12 years.
Scientists believe that genetics can play a role in the differences, according to Live Science.
“Relationships between coat color and disease can reflect an inadvertent result of breeding” dogs to some colors, senior author Paul McGreevy, professor of veterinary science at the University of Sydney and president of VetCompass, said in a statement.
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Researchers noted that while there appears to be a link between coat color and health, they do not know what it is and more studies are needed.