Trude Gladney

Written by Trude Gladney

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Ugly Dog Contest is an annual event that celebrates dogs who may not fit the traditional standards of beauty but have an undeniable charm and personality. This quirky and entertaining competition has gained popularity over the years, attracting dog lovers from all over the world. In this article, we will explore 17 fascinating facts about the Ugly Dog Contest that you may not know. From the origins of the contest to the adorable contestants that have stolen hearts, get ready to dive into the wonderful world of unique and lovable canines. Whether you’re a dog enthusiast or simply curious about this one-of-a-kind event, read on to discover the captivating facts about the Ugly Dog Contest.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace Unconventional Beauty: The Ugly Dog Contest celebrates the unique charm of all dogs, promoting adoption and showcasing the diversity of breeds, sizes, and personalities.
  • Spread Love and Awareness: This extraordinary event brings communities together, raises funds for charity, and highlights the importance of compassion and acceptance for shelter animals.
Table of Contents

The Ugly Dog Contest originated in California.

Founded in the 1970s, the Ugly Dog Contest first took place in California and has since gained worldwide popularity.

The contest aims to promote adoption.

One of the primary objectives of the Ugly Dog Contest is to raise awareness about shelter animals and encourage pet adoption. The event showcases the undying love and companionship of these unique canines.

It attracts dogs of various breeds.

From Chihuahuas to Bulldogs, the Ugly Dog Contest welcomes dogs of all breeds, sizes, and shapes. It celebrates diversity and proves that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

The winner receives a trophy and prize money.

The crowned “Ugliest Dog” receives a trophy and a cash prize, along with the honor of being the most unique-looking dog in the contest.

The competition includes other categories too.

In addition to the overall winner, the Ugly Dog Contest features categories like Best Costume, Best Trick, and Most Unusual Markings, allowing all dogs to shine in their own way.

The contest has a panel of judges.

Esteemed judges assess the contestants on their ugliness, personality, and crowd appeal. They have the challenging task of selecting the top contenders amidst stiff competition.

It has a dedicated fan base.

The Ugly Dog Contest has gained an incredibly devoted following. People from all over the world eagerly tune in each year to witness this one-of-a-kind event.

It has been featured in the media.

The uniqueness of the Ugly Dog Contest has captured the attention of media outlets worldwide. It has been covered by major news channels and even featured in documentaries.

The contest raises funds for charity.

Proceeds from the Ugly Dog Contest often go towards animal shelters and organizations that advocate for animal welfare and rescue.

Ugly dogs can become beloved celebrities.

Winners of the Ugly Dog Contest often become local celebrities, gracing the covers of magazines and making appearances on television shows.

The event has expanded to other locations.

Due to its growing popularity, the Ugly Dog Contest has expanded to other states and countries, spreading joy and raising awareness about adopting shelter animals.

There are rules and regulations for participation.

Contestants must meet certain criteria and agree to the contest rules before entering. The organizers ensure a fair and safe environment for the dogs and their owners.

Ugly dogs have their own charm.

While the Ugly Dog Contest celebrates unconventional beauty, it also emphasizes the unique personalities and endearing qualities of these beautiful canines.

It brings communities together.

The Ugly Dog Contest is not just an event; it’s a celebration that brings people together, creating a sense of camaraderie among dog lovers and supporters of animal welfare.

The contest has its own merchandise.

Fans of the Ugly Dog Contest can proudly sport their love for the event by purchasing merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, and keychains featuring the logo and images of past winners.

It provides a platform for unique dog stories.

The Ugly Dog Contest allows owners to share the stories and journeys of their extraordinary dogs, highlighting the importance of love, compassion, and acceptance.

The contest attracts thousands of visitors.

Each year, the Ugly Dog Contest draws large crowds of spectators who come to witness the unconventional beauty and incredible bond between these dogs and their owners.

The Ugly Dog Contest stands as a testament to the belief that every dog, regardless of appearance, deserves love, care, and a chance to be celebrated. So next time you see an “ugly” dog, remember that there is beauty in their unique features and personalities.


In conclusion, the Ugly Dog Contest is a unique and quirky event that celebrates the unconventional beauty of our furry friends. With its fascinating history, heartwarming stories, and surprising facts, it has captured the attention of dog lovers worldwide. Whether you find the contestants adorable or unconventional, there is no denying the joy and laughter that this event brings.

The Ugly Dog Contest serves as a reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes it is the imperfections that make our pets even more lovable. From the wrinkliest skin to the wonkiest features, these dogs have captured the hearts of many, teaching us to embrace our differences and see the beauty in uniqueness.

So, if you ever have the chance to attend the Ugly Dog Contest, be prepared for a day filled with laughter, surprises, and an appreciation for the wonderfully unconventional world of ugly dogs.


1. What is the Ugly Dog Contest?

The Ugly Dog Contest is an event where dogs with unconventional or unique appearances compete for the title of the “ugliest” dog in a light-hearted and fun-spirited competition.

2. When and where does the Ugly Dog Contest take place?

The Ugly Dog Contest takes place at various locations and different times throughout the year. It is often held alongside other dog-related events or festivals, so it’s best to check the official website or local listings for specific event details.

3. How are the winners of the Ugly Dog Contest determined?

The winners of the Ugly Dog Contest are typically determined by a panel of judges who evaluate the dogs based on their unique appearance, personality, and overall charm. Some contests also include audience participation or online voting to determine the winners.

4. Can any dog participate in the Ugly Dog Contest?

Yes, any dog can participate in the Ugly Dog Contest regardless of breed, size, or age. The contest celebrates individuality and embraces dogs of all shapes and sizes.

5. Is the Ugly Dog Contest only about physical appearance?

While physical appearance is a significant aspect of the contest, the Ugly Dog Contest also focuses on the personality and charm of the dogs. It’s about celebrating the unique qualities that make each dog special.

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