Each year, one lucky pooch is crowned with the dubious title of “World’s Ugliest Dog” at the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. It’s both an honor and a burden, of course, recognizing that these canines have their fair share of superficial flaws — but also are lovable pets in their own right. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the owner, and these owners have found a proud way to display just how much they adore their four-footed companions.
The winner of the Ugliest Dog in the World Contest in 2018 was Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog with a pronounced underbite, drooping tongue and barrel-chested stance. The winner of the Ugliest Dog Contest in 2017 went to Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff with bloodshot eyes and sagging jowls, while other years’ champions have included the blind Chinese crested Sweepee Rambo and and wizened, whiskered Yoda. Take a look through the decade’s winners of the odd title in the gallery above.
This year’s competition, held June 23 at the fair for its 25th year, saw 14 dogs competing for the ultimate prize: $1,500, a trophy, a donated prize match for Underdog Rescue and a flight to New York for a media appearance where the pup can preen at last. Competition is always fierce amongst the many canines in the running for that unlikely prize, most of whom have been rescued and have overcome — or are dealing with — some kind of health issues.
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