In case you were out of town last week, or you were living off the grid to keep one step ahead of your creditors, you might have missed the biggest news story of the year: last week, the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contest announced its winner. Meet Zsa Zsa.
Zsa Zsa is a 9-year-old English Bulldog, and she’s more than earned a moment in the spotlight. She was a puppy mill dog in Missouri for the first five years of her life, and at the end of her breeding period nobody adopted her. She was then purchased by Underdog Rescue, a California-based organization that finds homes for shelter dogs. Soon, Megan Brainard found Zsa Zsa’s picture on the Underdog Rescue website, and she knew she had to have her. The two now live happily together in Anoka, Minnesota.
Zsa Zsa beat out 13 other contenders for her crown, taking home a grand prize of $1,500, (with a matching donation to Underdog Rescue), as well as a huge trophy. But while winning is definitely nice for Zsa Zsa and Megan, it’s really secondary to what the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is all about.
Since the very first World’s Ugliest Dog was crowned back in 1978, the contest has promoted the message that dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds are worthy of our love. Unlike other dog shows, the WUD contest doesn’t judge these pooches on their breed or pedigree. Instead, they’re evaluated on “First impression, unusual attributes, personality, audience reaction, and ‘natural ugliness.'”
So, in that spirit, here are 15 other World’s Ugliest Dog contenders, from this year and from past year’s competitions. They’re so ugly they’re beautiful, and you’ll be forgiven if you find yourself cuddling your smartphone.
Also, you’ll notice many of these pups are Chinese cresteds, because apparently that breed DOMINATES these competitions. The Chinese crested is basically the Golden State Warriors of ugly dogs.
1. Rascal Deux, a rescue and a “naturally hairless mutant” (2017 contestant)
2. Martha, Neapolitan mastiff (2017 winner)
3. Himisaboo, Chinese crested/dachshund mix (2018 contestant)
4. Sam, Chinese crested (3-time winner, 2003-2005)
5. Peanut, a.k.a. “Oppossum,” possible Chihuahua/Shih Tzu mix (2014 winner)
6. Prince Chuburto Jesus Kowell, a.k.a. “Chuy,” hairless mix (2015 contestant)
7. Josie, Chinese crested (2018 third-place finisher)
8. Icky, Chinese crested (2017 contestant)
9. Wild Thang, 2-year-old Pekinese (2018 contestant)
10. Rascal, Chinese crested (2015 contestant)
11. Elwood, Chinese crested/chihuahua (2007 winner and the inspiration for the children’s book Everyone Loves Elwood)
12. Chase, Chinese crested/Harke (2017 third-place finisher)
13. Mouse, Chihuahua (2012 contestant)
14. Tee Tee, Chinese crested (2018 contestant)
15. Quasi Modo, pit bull/Dutch shepherd (2015 winner)