Skip to main content

The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is now accepting applications

World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Submissions now open

Every summer, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest helps owners and canine connoisseurs appreciate what makes each and every dog unique. Whether they’re missing some fur or are hard of hearing, they’re no less lovable or capable of bringing us joy. And what’s not to celebrate about that?

This year, the Sonoma-Marin Fair will host their pup pageant on June 23. Each owner and pet will get the chance to walk the red carpet in front of judges, media, and (of course) doting fans. It’s the perfect place for any dog to shine!

Do you know what’s even cooler, though? The winner will be heavily rewarded! According to CNN, the first-place winner of this contest will earn $1,500, while the second-place and third-place winners get $1,000 and $500, respectively.

According to the contest’s website, “The annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is not about making fun of ‘ugly’ dogs, but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!” The event also advocates for pet adoption by providing information about rescues and showcasing adoptable pets.

A gray Chinese crested dog looks up while their tongue hangs out to the side
Veronika_Andrews / Pixabay

How to apply for the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

If you or someone you know has the world’s ugliest dog, you can use the link on the contest website to start your application. As CNN reports, “Interested applicants need to submit an entry form, short biography, photo, and proof of vaccination for their homely pooch before June 21.” Yep, you read that correctly — that’s only two days before the competition itself! That also means there’s plenty of time to decide whether to apply.

“Prior to arriving for the contest,” notes the World’s Ugliest Dog website, “all the dogs must provide a veterinarian’s paperwork asserting that they are healthy.” The contest will also include an on-site checkup by a veterinarian to ensure that contestants are healthy enough to appear. Once that’s out of the way, you and your ugly dog can enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.

The World’s Ugliest Dog: Mr. Happy Face

If you’re lucky, your pup might just be crowned the ugliest dog in the world. What a feat! If they win the judges’ votes, they’d be following in the footsteps of Mr. Happy Face, an ugly yet adorable rescue pup who was awarded last year’s title.

The senior Chinese crested/Chihuahua mix was rescued at the ripe old age of 17, and his life only went up from there. He and his mom have enjoyed TV talk show visits, lots of media interviews, and even more treats. What dog doesn’t want that?

If you want to watch the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest this summer, don’t forget to catch it at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on June 23. You’ll be witnessing history in the making when the winner is crowned!

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
This is why your dog always wakes you up howling in the night
Plus, what you can do to fix nighttime vocalizing
Dog howls while standing near a flock of sheep in a pasture

You may enjoy watching wolves howl at the moon on TV, but you probably don't like it when it comes to life in your own home. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, your dog will wake up and channel their inner Canis lupus (wolf). Both of you need sleep, so you might want to try to tamp this down with a little retraining.

Of course, the first step to fixing your noise problem is to figure out the underlying cause, which involves paying a bit more attention to exactly what your pup is doing and when. So, if you wonder, "Why is my dog howling at night?" we suggest you note a few factors.
Why do dogs howl?

Read more
The most adorable toy dog breeds (that also make great pets)
You'll love the charming faces and spunky personalities of these toy breeds
A Yorkie wears a jacket on the street with his owner

When you think of a dog, we suspect you picture a statuesque German shepherd or possibly a sweet and droopy-eared golden retriever. But some of the best and most loyal buds don't have the size or the hunting instincts and yet are still unmistakably canines.

Toy dogs represent an entirely separate breed group, alongside others such as terrier and herding. While pups in the toy group aren't necessarily related genetically, they have a few characteristics that connect them together. Most obviously: Toy dogs are pawsitively adorable. If you want a teddy bear to come to life, consider one of the cutest toy dog breeds.
What makes a dog a toy breed?

Read more
Why do dogs bury bones? The answer is quite interesting
Plus how to discourage your dog from burying their toys and other items
A golden retriever digging a hole in a yard

You've probably seen it on television numerous times. Once the family pup receives a bone, they immediately races out into the backyard and begins to dig. If you have dogs, you've undoubtedly experienced the same phenomenon in real life.

Whether you have a big dog or a tiny pooch, you may notice freshly dug holes in the backyard or suspicious lumps under your blanket. If there's one common behavioral thread linking all dog breeds, it's the tendency to bury snacks, stolen trophies, and sometimes favorite stuffed animals. But why do dogs bury bones and other things? Let's find out. 
Decoding dog behavior

Read more