Ugliest Dog Day on June 20 celebrates the pups out there with a face only a mother could love. But when it comes to man’s best friend, is there really any dog that can’t be deemed adorable? We honor the facially challenged ones on June 20, Ugliest Dog Day. What started as a fun contest has grown into an annual celebration of the not-so-handsome dogs amongst us. So grab your favorite pup and give him an extra snuggle today and as you go about your day, say hi to every pup, pretty and not so pretty.
When is Ugliest Dog Day 2023?
Ugliest Dog Day is celebrated on June 20.
History of Ugliest Dog Day
No matter how they look, the antics of furry animals will always be undeniably cute. There are some really unphotogenic pets out there, but hey, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is why World’s Ugliest Dog Day is celebrated on June 20 every year. We love to love dogs every day, but dogs with facial deformities or less attractive features are in the spotlight today. Whether they lack fur or adorable faces, those puppy eyes will always get us!
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is an annual contest held in Petaluma, California, as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, to decide which of the dogs entered in the contest is the ugliest. The winner receives a trophy and the title of ‘The World’s Ugliest Dog,’ and the dog’s owner receives $1,000 in prize money. Since 2017, the prize money has increased to $1,600, along with a free trip to New York City.
Throughout the years, many dogs have participated to claim the esteemed title of ‘The World’s Ugliest Dog,’ with one breed, in particular, winning the most titles; the Chinese Crested. Since the inception of the contest in the 1970s, the most unsightly dog has been from this breed at least 22 times. With a hairless body and bulging eyes, the breed is still beloved and described by the American Kennel Club as an “ultra-affectionate companion dog.”
With social media full of content featuring cute fluffy animals with shares and likes stacked up, Ugliest Dog Days recognizes the not-so-cute lot and makes owners beam with pride for their unattractive pets.
Ugliest Dog Day timeline
A contest to name the world’s ugliest dog is held every June at the Sonoma-Marin Fair; in 2009 the Fair trademarked the phrase.
“Worst in Show” features the Sonoma-Marin Fair’s ugly dog contest.
“World’s Ugliest Dogs” was published in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ugly dog contest.
The prize is raised to $1,600, a trophy and a free trip to New York City.
Think your dog has what it takes to be the ugliest? Then keep up with tradition and participate in the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. Who knows? You may have a winner!
Other traditions include celebrating your ugly pooch and showering them with love and affection! Show them off on social media and stand out in the sea of cute pictures of cats and dogs. Share the beauty of breeds and encourage others to adopt an ugly dog of their own!
Ugliest Dog Day By The Numbers
$1,600 – the prize money of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest since 2017.
20,000–30,000 – the number of attendants at the contest during the fair each year.
2013 – the year when the contest celebrated its 25th anniversary.
22 – the number of times the winner has been a Chinese crested breed.
8 – the most World’s Ugliest Dog titles won in history by a dog named Rascal.
Ugliest Dog Day FAQs
Who won the Ugliest Dog Contest 2019?
A pooch named Scamp the Tramp won the 2019 World’s Ugliest Dog contest, beating out a field of 18 other four-legged contestants.
Who has the ugliest dog?
Scamp the Tramp is the current reigning champion of the Ugliest Dog Contest.
What is the ugliest dog in America?
Scamp the Tramp is an unknown breed with beady eyes, no teeth, and short stubby legs.
Ugliest Dog Day Activities
Share dog images, ugly or not
In the days leading up to Ugliest Dog Day, snap pictures of any and every dog you see. Put together a slide show of your neighborhood’s dogs, out and about, enjoying their doggie lives. Share on social media and invite friends to upload photos of their dogs too.
Raise money for homeless pets
At school or work, you can help dogs that don’t have the luxury of a loving home. Hold a fundraiser or collect pet supplies to donate to your local animal shelter. Also consider becoming a volunteer or dog foster parent.
Hold your own dog contest
Ugly or adorable, celebrate the dog in your and your friends’ lives. Be it a dog fashion show, obstacle course race or best trick competition, use June 20 to have a pet party and show off the awesomeness of your dog.
Facts About Man's Best Friend
Your dog is as smart as a 2-year-old
No Deodorant Necessary
Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws
What'd You Say?
Puppies are born deaf; they start hearing around three weeks
Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not colorblind
According to a poll, about 45% of Americans sleep with their dogs
Why We Love Ugliest Dog Day
It celebrates what’s inside, not outside
Dogs are loving, loyal creatures. They don’t care how their humans look, so why should we care about their perhaps less than perfect features?
It brings awareness to homeless pets
Unfortunately, dogs that may be considered not so cute often have a harder time being adopted. Remember your local pet shelter on Ugliest Dog Day with a donation of money or pet supplies.
It’s a chance to brag about your fabulous dog
Cute and cuddly or unappealing and smelly, dog owners aren’t bothered and truly believe their dog is the best ever. Show-off your dog and give Fido some extra loving today with a special day devoted just to the two of you.
Ugliest Dog Day dates