The Ugliest Dog Contest has honored the beauty found in all pets, especially rescue dogs, for over 20 years, and the event in 2023 was no exception.
This one-of-a-kind event allows us to honor the incredible perseverance and beauty seen in these particular pets. Each candidate has a wonderful story to tell, and they serve as a monument to the power of love, compassion, and the incredible animals’ determined spirit.
What Is the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition?
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is an annual event that takes place in Petaluma, California, USA. It started in the 1970s and gained significant attention over the years. The contest celebrates dogs that have unique and unusual appearances, often characterized by unconventional features such as odd proportions, strange hair or fur patterns, bulging eyes, and other distinctive physical traits.
In addition to being named “The World’s Ugliest Dog,” the owner of the winning dog receives a $1,000 cash reward and a trophy.
The monetary worth of the award has been increased to $1,600 as of 2017, in addition to the gift of a trophy and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City.
The fair’s contest attracts a significant amount of media attention, with an estimated attendance of 20,000-30,000 people per year.
The present fair features a full-day Dog Lovers’ Festival that takes place before the evening competition.
Despite the name of the contest, it’s important to note that the event is meant to be lighthearted and fun, emphasizing the uniqueness and individuality of each dog rather than focusing on negative aspects. The contest typically includes a variety of categories, and the winner is awarded the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog.” The event has become a popular spectacle, attracting media coverage and bringing attention to animal rescue and adoption efforts.
It’s worth mentioning that opinions on what is considered “ugly” in dogs can vary greatly, and the contest’s primary goal is to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, while also raising awareness about the importance of adopting dogs in need of loving homes.
What Is the Top 15 World’s Ugliest Dog List
Scooter, a seven-year-old Chinese Crested canine with reversed hind legs who uses a mobility cart for locomotion, was the winner of the 2023 competition.
Scooter had faced execution due to his deformity, but is now praised for them. According to his history on the contest’s website, he was born with two malformed hind legs that hampered his ability to walk.
Scooter was rescued as a puppy by a volunteer from the Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) rescue group after a breeder turned him into animal control in Tuscon, Arizona.
2. Mr. Happy Face (2022)
The World’s Ugliest Dog competition resumed in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and Mr. Happy Face was voted the winner!
Mr. Happy Face, a 17-year-old canine of mixed lineage, specifically a hairless Chinese Crested-Chihuahua crossbreed, won the 2022 competition.
This particular individual was adopted from an Arizona shelter after being rescued from a hoarder’s home.
3. Scamp the Tramp (2019)
Scamp the Tramp, a former stray with unruly hair, and his owner Yvonne Morones of Santa Rosa, Calif., earned the $1,500 prize at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.
Scamp’s narrative is very endearing. His pet parents spotted him “licking Taco Bell wrappers” on the streets of Compton. Scamp enjoys volunteering as a reading dog for first-graders and senior residents in his spare time.
4. Zsa Zsa (2018)
Zsa Zsa, a 9-year-old English Bulldog from Anoka, MN, traveled for 30 hours to compete in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Zsa Zsa won because of her bowed front legs, exposed bottom teeth, and extremely long tongue.
The English bulldog from Minnesota was rescued from a puppy mill and found by owner Megan Brainard on petfinder.com.
Zsa Zsa died in her sleep two weeks after winning the competition, leaving Brainard “in shock.” The owner and her daughter organized a memorial service for their beloved dog.
5. Martha (2017)
Martha, a three-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff owned by Shirley Dawn Zindler of Sebastopol, California, won the 2017 competition.
Because of neglect, this 125-pound Mastiff with a big, floppy face nearly went blind. But, thanks to Sonoma County’s Dogwood Animal Rescue Project and numerous successful operations, she can see and is living her best life. Her current pet parents describe her as a gassy, goofy, friendly giant.
6. Sweepee Rambo (2016)
After finishing second in 2015, the 17-year-old Chinese crest finally won first place in 2016.
Sweepee was first given to Jason Wurtz’s wife as a gift. However, after their divorce, Jason took over ownership of Sweepee because his wife thought the dog was too ugly. Wurtz evidently adored Sweepee, taking him for motorcycle rides and even running a “Sweepee for President” campaign in 2016.
Unfortunately, the dog died in October 2016. The dog’s unique features included a clouded right eye, large ears, and a protruding tongue.
7. Quasi Modo (2015)
The pit bull-Dutch shepherd hybrid, who was 10 years old and had a hunchback, won the title of Ugly Dog of the Year in 2015.
While his appearance may be terrifying to some, Quasi Modo is actually a charmer. He was left at a shelter in Loxahatchee, FL before being adopted by a veterinarian. He’s now one of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest’s greatest champions!
8. Peanut (2014)
Peanut, a mysterious breed from Greenville, North Carolina, won the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in 2014. Peanut’s story is a tragic one as an animal abuse victim. He was severely burned in a fire and hence lacks lips and eyes.
Holly Chandler told the Associated Press that there is a continuing effort to use him as an example to demonstrate the potential consequences of animal abuse. Chandler was planning on using the $1,500 cash reward to help others with their vet costs.
9. Walle (2013)
The 25th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest was won by Walle the Mutt, a 4-year-old with an exceptionally huge head, humpback, and duck-like waddle.
According to Tammie Barbee, the owner, his head has always been larger than his body.
10. Mugly (2012)
The 8-year-old Chinese crested, who was earlier named one of the UK’s ugliest dogs, won big in 2012. He and his owner, Bev Nicholson, wore Union Jack-embellished accouterments to display their British pride.
Mugly received the prestigious Heroic Hounds Award in 2016 at the National Pet Show in London for his outstanding achievements as a therapy dog.
Hey, I’m Caroline, and I’m all about bulldog love, travel, and lending a helping hand to shelter pals. Writing about dogs for five years has let me share the magic of their stories and the world of pet care. My heart? It belongs to Bella, my amazing bulldog sidekick. Together, we’re off on adventures, spreading kindness, and making shelter life brighter. Join us in celebrating the joy of dogs and making a difference!