One mutant gene. That's all it took.
While the boys were doing their usual routine of wrestling with each other and running around the coffee table like it was the Indy 500, I was kicked back with the laptop, checking out a few of my favorites websites. That's when I read about that one crazy mutation.
According to National Geographic News, dogs like dachshunds, Pekingese, basset hounds, Shih Tzus and corgis (a total of 19 short-legged dog breeds in all) have stumpy little legs because they all share a single genetic mutation, which suggest that most short-legged dogs descended from a single stunted ancestor that could have lived as many as 30,000 years ago - long before humans started breeding dogs for their physical traits.
That means that a long, long time ago, a wolf was born with crazy short legs. He/she later had puppies who also had crazy short legs and so on, and so on, until humans got involved and used those short legs to their advantage in regards to breeding.
As I sit here and watch my "vertically challenged" brothers run around I pause and think, "Wow. If it hadn't been for a single mutant gene, my brothers would be the same size as me. Thank you mutant gene!"