Are our dogs dumpy by design? An informal round-up of our fattest dog breeds
Yesterday was a slow day at work. To pass the time, I designed a simple survey and polled my staff and that of a neighboring hospital: What are the three fattest breeds of dogs?
No, not as in: "To which breeds do the three fattest individual dogs of your acquaintance correspond?" Rather, it was "In which three breeds is obesity most consistently overrepresented as a physical attribute?"
And this, btw, was measured not in sheer poundage but in body condition scoring or body mass indexing; pick your approach, the upshot is the same. (Check out a post and a video on this for more info on how veterinarians like to rate their patients' heaviness.)
Interestingly, two breeds came up most often, and with only a couple of overlapping breed exceptions, it was surprisingly easy to arrive at an obvious top ten. Can you guess what they are? Here's the list:
1. Labrador retriever (especially the chocolate varietal
2. English bulldog
7. French bulldog
10. Golden retriever
Now, there was definitely some quibbling, especially at the end there. I argued (unsuccessfully, as you can see) that Goldens are just so abundant that they appear to offer us more fatty specimens, but that bull mastiffs (amongst others) were, per capita, if you will, more likely to pack on the pounds.
Because genetic propensity is what I was after. Not a mere head count of scale-toppers. But then this was just an informal survey with a sample size you could almost count off on two hands. And even if we had accomplished a significant survey size, environmental factors would have to be teased out. And I have no idea how you'd accomplish that with any degree of political correctness.
So with all those complications in mind, it's your turn to have some fun. List your top three (or your top ten if you'd like) and I'll redo the list. Enjoy!
Dr. Patty Khuly