World's ugliest dog contest seeks entries

March 22, 2008 3:45:34 PM PDT
Contestants with crooked teeth, gray hair, bald spots and bad breath will soon be competing for a $1,000 prize at a Sonoma-Marin Fair pageant.

The World's Ugliest Dog Contest, a 20-year tradition at the fair, draws in some of the most unsightly mugs during the summer.

Some of the contenders already signed up include three Chinese cresteds: Rascal, a freckled pooch with an Einstein-like hairdo; Squiggy, who has pointy ears and a spiky Mohawk; and Miss Ellie, a pimply dog with only a couple teeth. Buster, a scowling hairless teacup Chihuahua who enjoys mocha frappuccinos, is also competing.

Last year's winner, a Chinese crested named Elmwood, took prize money home for his owner and continued on to the talk show and late night television circuit during his reign. Elmwood has a tuft of white fur atop his lopsided face and his tongue droops out the side of his mouth.

Dogs challenging Elmwood for his title must qualify by first competing in the Ugliest Dog of 2008 contest. That winner then competes with past World's Ugliest Dog winners for the this year's World's Ugliest Dog title and the $1,000 prize, contest organizers said.

Entry forms can be downloaded at or requested by calling (707) 283-3247. Dogs must enter a pre-qualifying round "to ensure they are truly ugly" before contests begin, according to organizers.

Those interested in voting for their favorite ugly dog can find photos of participating canines at the fair Web site.

The contest will take place at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma on June 20 at 6:30 p.m., according to officials. Admission to the contests is included in fair admission, which is $14 for adults, $9 for children under age 12 and free for children under age 4.