People love dogs for a variety of reasons: They’re loyal, playful, and usually very cute. But not always. Sometimes, man’s best friend isn’t the best-looking animal. There are many breeds of dogs that lack the fluffy fur and adorable faces that many of the more popular dog breeds have.
While these odd-looking dogs may have a hard time racking up likes and shares on social media, they are still worthy of recognition. Each year, the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, holds the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest — a celebration of the less conventionally cute companions. Dog owners from across the U.S. and even the world bring their unattractive pets to compete.
While there is a winner every year, some of these dogs really stand out as uncommonly ugly. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed photos of winners and competitors in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest to determine the ugliest dogs in the world. While the Sonoma-Marin Fair decides on a winner for the ugliest dog each year, we have selected canines who competed in the contest from previous years that did not win but we considered them ugly enough to be included on our list. Our list is rendered in alphabetical order and is not ranked.
Winning the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest may seem like a dubious honor, but it actually comes with some nice perks. The 2018 winner, an English Bulldog named Zsa Zsa, won her owner $1,500, a trip to New York City to visit the “Today Show,” and, of course, a trophy. The contest also donates $1,500 to Underdog Rescue, an organization that works to save shelter dogs.
Sadly, Zsa Zsa died shortly after winning. Zsa Zsa was 9 years old when she died in her sleep earlier this month. The contest page said the dog “charmed us all with her slobbery good-looks and sweet demeanor.”
Many winning dogs look a bit off because of a pronounced underbite or an extra droopy face. Some may have look stunted as a result of inbreeding. And others have more severe difficulties that hamper their looks as well as their way of life. Quasi Modo, the 2015 contest winner, got his name from his abnormal back. The purebred German shepherd has short spine syndrome, and he required surgery to alleviate some of the pain from his neck and back.
Though many types of dogs have tried to claim the title of Ugliest Dog, there is one breed that stands alone in producing the most unsightly canines — the Chinese crested. Since the beginning of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in the 1970s, the winner has been either a purebred or part Chinese crested at least 22 times. The breed is small, mostly hairless, and prone to buggy eyes — not a recipe for cuteness. Still, they are a beloved breed. The American Kennel Club describes Chinese cresteds as a “frolicsome, ultra-affectionate companion dog.”
To determine the ugliest dogs in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the dogs that competed in the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, which is held annually at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Dogs that won the contest were ranked ahead of those that did not.