The World's Ugliest Dog Contest-What it Takes to be a Winner
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Do you remember the motto, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? Well, in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest beauty is not an option and ‘ugly’ makes you a winner. Just ask the contestants who come to California each year to compete in this unconventional dog contest.
Location of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest
For the past 22 years the Sonoma-Marin Fair, located in Petaluma, California, has hosted the whacky, but popular dog contest and has received world-wide attention. Partly started as a lark, partly to raise awareness of animal rights, and in particular, the cause of rescue dogs, the annual event has been going strong for over two decades. If you haven’t had the opportunity to view this through Animal Planet, it is a must see.
Held each June, the contest applicants have one general rule: dogs have to pass the inspection of judges in the category of ugly. Only one other important factor prevails: have documentation of updated vaccinations and a clean bill of health.
Chinese Crested Hairless Breed
The Winner is Ugly!
What makes the dogs ugly can vary. Former winners have been noted to be blind in one eye, (or both); have long, exposed tongues, which hang out of the sides of their mouths; have snaggled-toothed profiles; a protruding tooth or two; an odd or peculiar walk; and a hairless body.
Many of the contestants fall into a category of the Chinese Crested breed, which can include bug eyes and a tuft of hair at the crown, like a Mohawk. Overall, they have a frightening, ‘gremlin’ look. This breed has dominated the winners circle for many years, but their reign was upset in 2009 when a rogue boxer with a prominent under bite took the title. Pabst, the boxer, walked away with over $1,000 in prize money and accessories.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest Video
Dog Contests offer prizes and fame
Worldwide media coverage, guest speaking, (or barking as it may be), on talk shows, prizes, money, as well as the coveted title, are all reasons that owners take their ugly dogs out of the closet and put them on display for at least one day of the year. What’s not to love about that?
If you have a pedigree or mutt that is uglier than sin on a cold, dark night than take heart, for you too can proudly display your pooch in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest by following these steps:
1. Open the fair website at: www.sonoma-marinfair.org and hit the W.U.D.C. box located on the home page. You’ll know it when you see it.
2. Fill the application out and send it off before the deadline. This year the deadline is June 21, 2011. There is no fee for the application.
3. Take note that you are required, by the rules of the W.U.D.C. committee, to bring your own dog’s pooper scooper and water bowl.
Famed 'Ugly Dog' Winner: Rascal
A few notes now, about winners from the past. Rascal, a Chinese Crested Hairless breed was winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in 2002. He was so prominent with his ugly characteristics that Jay Leno had him as a guest on the Tonight Show, before he even won the contest. Now, that is some serious ‘ugly’.
Since 2010 Rascal had a total of 10 Ugly Dog Contest titles, including the title for the Oldest, Ugly Dog Contest located in Fort Bragg, California. He was also cast in four horror movies and won the title in 2009 for the Regal Cinemas Hotel for Dogs Ugly Dog Contest in Florida.
Rascal is the offspring of Chi Chi, another hairless Chinese Crested who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for holding more World’s Ugliest Dog titles than any other dog in the history of ugly dog contests.
In 2010 Princess Abby, a Chihuahua, won the title in Petaluma. Missing one eye, back legs longer than the front, which created a funny walk, and two mismatched ears, Princess Abby is now the proud winner of last year’s contest.
Tips for Safe Pet Travel
Remember: if you are planning to travel to Northern California to enter your pet in the contest here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
1. Make travel arrangements early, including accommodations. Petaluma is a beautiful area of California and you will want to ensure a place to stay during this popular festival.
2. If your pet is a lap dog, arrange to have him under your seat instead of in the cargo area.
3. Take note to give the competitor a day to recuperate from travel, if possible.
If you do not have an ‘ugly’ dog and would like to watch the contest you can do so in person, while enjoying many of the other fair activities. The Sonoma-Marin Fair goes from June 22-26.
The activities related to the contest, sponsored by Animal Planet, and the Sonoma County Humane Society, also include a dog fashion show and a dog lover’s festival.
Call 707-283-3247 for more information.
Location of the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California
The World's Ugliest Dog Contest @ Sonoma-Marin Fair
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