There are some faces only a true dog lover could love (such as the worlds ugliest dog breeds). The winners of Petaluma’s annual The Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest are a few. A competition that began in the 1970s as a satirical take on the more prestigious dog shows, The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest takes place every year as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair. The winner not only gets the prestigious title but gets to take home a trophy and upwards of $1,000 in prize money.
Let’s take a look at some of the faves from this year’s contest, as well as winners from the past.
2022 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Mr. Happy Face
After a hiatus of two years brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the World’s Ugliest Dog contest made a comeback in 2022, and the winner was none other than Mr. Happy Face!
This yearly competition aims to encourage people to choose adoption over purchasing, celebrating those dogs that might otherwise be overlooked due to their appearance.
2019 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Scamp the Tramp
Scamp the Tramp, a lovable former stray with an endearing mop of unmanageable hair, captured the hearts of the audience at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. After an exhilarating competition, Scamp and his devoted owner, Yvonne Morones from the stunning Santa Rosa, California, proudly clinched the highly coveted $1,500 prize, marking a joyful and unforgettable victory for this charismatic duo.
2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Zsa-Zsa
Breed: English Bulldog
Zsa-Zsa was an English Bulldog, rescued from a puppy mill where she had been bred for five years. Sadly, Zsa-Zsa passed away shortly after winning the title of World’s Ugliest Dog.
Not only is she the Ugliest Dog but she has the world’s longest tongue.
2017 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Martha
Breed: Neapolitan Mastiff
Described as “gentle,” “gassy” and “slobbery,” Martha is a 125lb Neapolitan Mastiff. While she took home the title in 2017, she was beaten by Zsa-Zsa when she tried to win the 2018 title.
Under all that fur and skin, are there even eyes?
2016 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Sweepee Rambo
Name: Sweepee Rambo
Breed: Chinese Crested
After placing second in 2015, Sweepee Rambo came back to win the contest in 2016 at the ripe old age of 17. Sadly, she too passed away shortly after taking home the coveted title.
Can you count the hairs left on her head?
2015 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner: Quasi Modo
Name: Quasi Modo
Breed: Pit Bull-Dutch Shepherd Mix
Quasi Modo was born with a birth defect, which caused his hunched back and led to his name.
In 2015, he beat out 26 other ugly pups to take home the title of Ugliest Dog.
2014 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Peanut is a 2-year-old mutt. He was the victim of animal abuse and burnt in a fire. His owner, Holly Chandler, hopes Peanut’s victory will bring more attention to animal abuse.
She donated the $1,500 prize money to other pets’ veterinary bills.
2013 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Walle was 4 years old when he won took home the title of Ugliest Dog in the 25th annual contest. Walle waddles when he walks and was described as a “huge-headed, duck-footed mix of beagle, boxer and basset hound.”
Judge Brian Sobel agreed, commenting “[t]his dog looked like he’s been photo-shopped with pieces from various dogs and maybe a few other animals.”
2012 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Breed: Chinese Crested
Hailing from the U.K., Mugly traveled to the U.S. in 2012 to take home the prize of Ugliest Dog.
Already an honoree in the U.K. for a similar contest, his owner commented “I’m overwhelmed. He’s a really sweet, sensitive dog.”
2011 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Breed: Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix
Yoda was a 14-year-old mutt who took home the title of Ugliest Dog in 2011. Abandoned by her owners in California, she was found behind an apartment building by Terry Schumacher, who first mistook the mutt was a rat.
Thankfully Ms. Schumacher quickly realized she was not a rat and went on to adopt her.
2010 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Name: Princess Abby
Princess Abby took home the coveted Ugliest Dog title in 2010. While she appears to be bowing to her fans, she actually suffers from a birth defect: her hind legs are taller than her front legs.
Vet Doc Halligan suspects her ailment is due to inbreeding, saying “She’s a poster child to spay and neuter your pets,” she said.
2009 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Breed: Boxer Mix
With his adorable underbite, Pabst (named for the blue ribbon beer), took home the blue ribbon of the dog show in 2009, beating out the previous years Chinese crested.
Apparently, someone likes Pabst Blue Ribbon — enough to name their dog after the beer.
2008 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Gus was a one-eyed, three-legged cancer survivor when he took home the title of Ugliest Dog in 2006. A rescue dog, his owner used the money for his skin cancer treatments.
Although he’s quite ugly you have to admit he’s pretty cute!
2007 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Elwood was 2 years old when he took home the prize in 2005. At 9 months old, he was nearly euthanized by his breeder for being “too ugly” but saved by Karen Quigly.
She used his story to promote animal rescue groups: he made appearances at more than 200 charity events, and was even the inspiration of the children’s book, Everyone Loves Elwood, which promotes a message of anti-bullying and compassion towards animals.
2006 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Archie is another lovable mutt who was saved from death row and adopted. The hairless, toothless pup with the long tongue is another example of overbreeding: he’s actually a purebred Chinese-Hairless.
You have to admit, despite the ugly, he is pretty adorable.
2003 – 2005 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
One look at Sam, a blind rescue dog, and it’s easy to see why he took home first place for three years in a row. Sam passed away from cancer in 2005, just before his 15th birthday.
In the years prior, he gained additional celeb-status with appearances in an A&E Halloween special, as well as a Japanse television show.
2002 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Rascal took home the blue ribbon in 2002 and went on to star (or, participate) in several films. He’s the only dog on our list with his own IMDB page for roles including! A purebred, Rascal is naturally hairless, aside from his mohawk, and wears his warts and skin spots proudly.
In addition to the 2002 Ugliest Dog title, Rascal appeared with Jay Lenon the NBC Tonight Show, “interviewed” by ‘Barbara Walters on The View, appeared on The Jane Pauley show, Carson Daly, Animal Planet, Kathy Griffin’s D-List, ET and more. Not surprisingly, he also had guest roles in 5 horror movies!
2000 – 2001 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Winner
Nana’s owner described her breed as a”Canardly”; meaning, “you can’ardly tell her pedigree.”
The pint-sized pup, weighing just 4 lbs, was a shelter rescue and took home the title of Ugliest Dog for two years in a row.
Want More Ugly Mugs? Check Out A Few Fan Favorites This Year’s Contest
Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest Fan Favorite
Breed: Chinese Crested
Himisaboo competed in both the 2018 and 2016 Ugliest Dog Contest. While he may not have taken home a trophy, he was a fan favorite thanks to his golden mane, which many likened to Donald Trump’s.
“Whether you love him, or loathe him, a vote for Himisaboo is a vote for a dog that looks like Donald Trump,” said Heather Wilson, Himisaboo’s owner, when he competed in the 2016 contest.
Do you have a lovable mutt with a mug worthy of being named World’s Ugliest Dog? Tell us in the comments and share a photo!