Science Explains Why Golden Retrievers Are Awesome

Everyone loves golden retrievers — of course; they’re usually gorgeous with goofy, lovely personalities.

But have you ever wondered what actually makes a golden retriever a golden retriever? And what makes them so irresistibly nice, by and large? We did — and also wondered how genetically different dogs can be from one breed to another. Plus, where do mutts fit in? And what are the public policy implications of dog breeds, genes and personality?

Veterinarian Jessica Perry Hekman, who’s also a PhD student in a genomics lab at the the University of Illinois, recently published a piece on dog breeds and genetics on her terrific blog, Dog Zombie. Though it focuses primarily on what happened when Victorians became obsessed with breedings dogs for looks rather than function (spoiler: bad diseases), Hekman also hinted at the relationship between genetics and personality, writing that she “can own a series of golden retrievers and predict with fair accuracy how each of them will look and act.”

Intriguing, no? The Huffington Post caught up with Hekman to find out more.

The Huffington Post: What makes a golden retriever a golden retriever? Is it looks, or genetics, or…?

Jessica Perry Hekman: Genetics. They are all genetically similar. —> Read More Here


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