The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 2017: The Winner Is…

chinese crestad
Getty Images

Every year, since 1976, at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, a bizarre competition takes place: the world’s ugliest canines.

The Contest includes a Red Carpet Walk and a Faux Paw Fashion Show featuring adoptable or previously adopted dogs. This year, on Friday, June 23, 2017 Martha the Neapolitan mastiff crowned winner, defeating 13 contenders (of difference breeds, sizes and ages).


If you are tired of seeing beauty everywhere, as if it’s the only thing that can give happiness…and the eternal life in heaven (Ed.), this competition is for you. Finally, you don’t need to be cute and pretty to count something. Even if you are “ugly” you can have your space. This is what the ugliest dogs in the world can experience in this annual competition.

“We’re proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great addition to any family.” explains Erin Post, CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair.


Cyndi – Loo – Whoo

cyndy loo whoo ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



brutus ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



archie ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair




zoomers ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



martha ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



icky ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



monkey ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



Rascal Deux

rascal deux ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



chase ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



jake ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



precius ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair




josie ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



moe ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair



scamp ugly dog
Sonoma-Marin Fair


But who is Martha exactly?

Martha Napolitan Mastiff
AP Photo | Eric Risberg

Martha is a 57kg Neapolitan mastiff saved from blindness. According to Shirley Zindler, founder of the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project – and who rescued the dog – Martha was almost blind, but after several surgeries she regained sight from one eye.
She was one of the many neglected large-breed dogs out there, but now she may become a “star”.

At the moment, Martha lives with her new owner Ms. Burkard who knew about Dogwood and Martha via Facebook. Martha can go around, explore and play with her new friend Blue, a St. Bernard dog…in 11 acres at Ms. Burkard’s family’s home. One day Mrs. Zindler called Ms. Burkard suggesting her to participate in the contest with Martha and this was the result.


What are the “beautiful imperfections” that made her the winner?

napolitan mastiff martha
AP Photo | Eric Risberg

Droopy red eyes, uncontrollable drool and baggy skin. These were the “charming ingredients” that led her to victory.

Martha was awarded $1,500, a trophy, and the possibility to fly to New York for media appearances.

Once again the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest demonstrated to the world that behind imperfections you can still find cuteness, beauty and love.

Did you already know about this competition? Which dog do you think should have won?


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