Labrador Brain Study - A Tail of Two Dogs

Labrador Brain Study - A Tail of Two Dogs

Who Doesn't Love a Labrador?

We all love a labrador retriever, Right? Well, if you don't, then forget about reading any further because we have some interesting news about the world's best dog.

As the Barketing Manager at DogsDogsDogs it falls to me to deliver the most important news to you our lovely customers. Which is why, when I was pawing through the latest copy of "Labrador Today" that this latest piece of Labrador news struck me and I thought I must share this news.

As we all know any Labrador worth its salt is always on the lookout for a spare morcel of food from the kitchen floor, nearby bin or generous hand. It is not for nothing we are known as the Seagull of the land (you have to admire those guys). Well, it turns out not all Labradors are created equal and this goes for a lot of dog breeds. 

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The Science Bit

Apparently and we struggle to believe it but there are labradors out there who aren't obsessed by food! I know, it was a shock to me too. Loosen your collar, get back in your bed and relax. For thousands of years humans have been breeding dogs for different purposes: Hunting, Fishing, Companions, Security and even as a means of transport (Sled Dogs if you were wondering). During this millenium long struggle to breed the perfect dog for its purpose, humans, it turns out have altered the way our brains have grown.    


A study by Dr Erin Hecht, a neuroscientist studying dog cognition at Harvard University found that years of human meddling and cross breeding had led to substantial changes to the way a dogs brain is built. This in turns out leads to a variety of behaviours from dogs of the same breed. Apparently not all dogs are created equal after all, well we knew that because no dog comes close to a Labrador. 


These clever humans studied MRI scans performed on 62 dogs including over 30 different breeds. The brain studies showed differing neural patterns depending on what that particular dog had been bred for. Hunting dogs had different attributes to those bred for guarding. 

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So it is quite possible that a Labrador retriever that does the job its kind was bred to do – retrieving birds shot by hunters – might have a brain that looks different from a Labrador that retrieves popcorn stuck between couch cushions.

Quote from The Independant

The Conclusion

As interesting as this topic is, it's time to go and find some more food. I'm sure I heard the tell tale noise of an aga door opening somewhere nearby. If I get lucky there might be something hot and meaty to scoop up from the floor while no-one is looking. 


Back to the subject in hand, there are lots of different labradors out there: Tall ones, thin ones (rare) and fat ones (well built of course). But what this survey tells us is that even if you don't want food 24/7 you are still part of the Canis lupus Familiaris (That's Latin for Labrador). You may think you are stronger for it, but I just think you are hungry.


The Difference between Hunting Labradors and Sofa Labradors is all the fault of our human masters. Now if only we could go back a few thousand years and work out how to train their brains to give us food all of the time we would all be happier and there would be world peace.


If you love a Labrador, why not put your hand in your pocket and chuck them a treat before you do anything else. 


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