Wrinkly scowls, fluffy tufts, and jiggy jowls are just a few of the most unique features that are considered to win the world’s ugliest dog contest. While some people may be put off by a dog’s ugly appearance, others are unable to resist the natural charm of the ugliest dog breeds. In this article, we discuss 16 ugly dog breeds that may not win any beauty contests, but will surely make their into your heart.
The Ugliest Dog Breeds
Many people say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these dogs are often neglected due to their unusual appearance.
Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi is a dog with an odd physical appearance, which comes with a pointed snout, lean legs, and a tall body. Originally bred in Russia in the 1600s, they were highly favored by aristocrats for centuries. While some people find them unattractive due to their horse-like faces, we can’t deny that they come with distinctive features.
Thanks to their deep chests, narrow bodies, disheveled coats, and tucked abdomens, these dogs truly stand out from the rest.
2. Chinese Shar-pei
The Chinese Shar-pei has a wrinkly face, sagging skin, and a blue-black tongue that makes them instantly, recognizable. However, this isn’t the only thing that makes them unique — their history goes back over 2,000 years ago during China’s Han Dynasty. While some people think that they could win the world’s ugliest dog contest, dog lovers find them simply irresistible.
Their folds and wrinkles can look intimidating at first, but you’ll find that these dogs are loving and loyal to their families once you get to know them better.
3. Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon comes with big eyes and bushy eyebrows, along with a square face that gives it a distinctive appearance that may not conform with what people find to be conventionally beautiful. However, this small breed carries undeniable charm as well as a lively and intelligent personality that makes them such excellent companions. These dogs are known for their affectionate nature which allows them to form strong bonds with their humans.
Their small stature doesn’t stop them from expressing themselves and demanding attention from their fur parents, which makes them fun and challenging to have at home.
4. English Bulldog
Not many people can resist the English Bulldog’s flat faces, stocky build, signature faces, and jiggling jowls. These pups are loving, loyal, and low-maintenance, but unfortunately, not everyone can appreciate them. While they may have a tough6-looking appearance, they’re not prone to aggression, and will rarely bark.
Luckily, Bulldogs won’t need a lot of exercise and are great for people who lead a laid-back lifestyle. Despite being labeled “ugly”, they are among the most popular dog breeds in the world today.
5. Bergamasco Sheepdog
This breed is what some might refer to as an “ugly but cute” dog since its most distinguishing feature is a shaggy coat, which is made up of matted and long strands of hair resembling dreadlocks. But under all their hair, this pooch has a muscular body with strong legs and a broad chest. They also have a square-shaped head that’s large, with a long and broad muzzle with prominent eyebrows.
6. Peruvian Inca Orchid
People will say that the Peruvian Inca Orchid is an acquired taste, but we can’t deny that these hairless wonders are among the most unique-looking dogs in the world. While they suffer from a lack of fur, they sure make up for it with wrinkles — the folds and creases all over their body give them a wise and ancient appearance. While they naturally come with a hairless body, these dogs will sometimes have random spots of fur around their tails, heads, and feet, making them look like they always have a bad hair day.
Despite their funny looks, some can actually grow a natural mohawk, which isn’t something you can say for other dogs!
7. Irish Wolfhound
Are you looking for a furry friend that only comes in a large size? If you are, then look no further than the Irish Wolfhound. Known as a gentle giant, this pup can weigh more than 100 pounds and can stand up to 3 feet tall. Their slender and long legs, narrow heads, disheveled coats, and floppy ears give them a scruffy appearance that is usually considered to be ugly.
They might look intimidating at first, but they’re actually very calm and loving family members. Back in the day, they were fierce hunters who could easily fend off wolves, but these days, they’re more likely to enjoy a nice afternoon next to you.
8. Chinese Crested Dog
These hairless dogs will come with patches of fur randomly placed around their body, along with scruffy heads that don’t exactly make them beautiful dogs. Strangely enough, they usually win “Ugliest Dog” contests, but dog owners will know that their strange looks only add to their natural charm. Because they barely shed and come in a small size, they can be great additions for families with allergies or limited space.
Despite their weird appearance, they are social, playful, and friendly dogs that can easily make their way into your heart.
9. English Bull Terrier
The English Bull Terrier comes with egg-shaped heads, pointy ears, and a long face, but don’t let these distinct characteristics throw you off. While they might not be as pretty as other dog breeds, they are definitely unique in their own way and are available in miniature and standard sizes. It might look like it’s always up to no good, but this little guy is a clown who will entertain you endlessly.
They love spending time with their owners and their playful personality will certainly get up to mischief, but this is just another good reason why you should consider getting these dogs for your home.
Also known as the Mexican hairless dog, these dogs are often described as both cute and ugly; their bald look isn’t always appreciated. However, their intelligence and charm will more than makeup for what they lack in the beauty department. On the other hand, some people do find their unique appearance endearing and charming, while their calm and loyal nature can make them good guard dogs and house companions.
Even if some will find their rectangular bodies and wrinkled foreheads unsightly, this ancient breed comes from a long lineage of canines and is recognized as Mexico’s national dog.
11. Neapolitan Mastiff
With its massive size, this dog is intimidating, to say the least, and comes with a wrinkly and rugged appearance. The Neapolitan Mastiff also has a muscular and stocky build, weighing over 100 pounds, and possesses heavy jowls, and droopy, loose skin. These dogs have a thick and dense coat that’s found in mahogany, black, or gray colors, while their ears drop down to their soulful eyes.
These big boys will come with a powerful presence — their big heads and broad chests provide them such an imposing look. But don’t let their tough exterior fool you; they are affectionate and devoted companions who will love you for life.
12. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier can be considered cute but probably not in the same way as the French Bulldog — still, it knows how to get your attention. This strange-looking dog that looks like a dog in sheep’s clothing comes with a wooly and curly coat, along with lamb-like features. It has a narrow and long head with small and triangular ears, as well as expressive and bright eyes.
Their appearance is surely one of a kind, and it’s difficult not to be charmed by their strange, yet quirky look.
If you’re looking for a small dog with a huge personality, you can’t pass on the Chihuahua — while some might find them ugly, others will find them completely adorable. Known for their apple-shaped head, erect ears, and bulging eyes, they seem like they came straight out of a comic book. Their fur can come in different colors, from dark chocolate to creamy white.
Their short hair and short legs give them a compact look but they shouldn’t be underestimated since they will fiercely defend their human against any threat.
14. American Hairless Terrier
This Louisiana native is inquisitive, smart, and playful, but unlike their name suggests, actually comes in both coated and hairless varieties. Despite their lack of hair, they are affectionate and loving companions that will get along well with other pets and small children, making them a wonderful choice if you’re looking for furry friends. Their compact size can make them compatible with families and individuals living in an apartment.
15. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
If you’re looking for weird dog breeds, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier comes with an interesting appearance that includes short legs, a long body, and a unique topknot. While they aren’t widely recognized, they hold a special place inside people who know how to appreciate their quirkiness. Despite their unconventional look, these dogs are loved for their affectionate and friendly nature.
They are highly spirited dogs with a great sense of humor, which allows them to become great companion dogs. Even if they aren’t as popular as other terrier dogs, you’ll find that these dogs will introduce a bit of whimsy to your home.
Referred to as the “little lion dog”, the Löwchen may be considered ugly by some but has nevertheless been popular with Continental Europeans over the last 500 years. These small dogs are known to be lively, affectionate, and as brave as the big cats they’re named after. The Löwchen are playful dogs who will sometimes be protective of their loved ones, so early socialization is particularly important if you want a well-balanced dog.
They are alert to their surroundings and will tend to be vocal, so make sure to prioritize training to stop them from barking at everything.
Ugly Dog Breed FAQs
Below are a few commonly asked questions when it comes to owning an “ugly dog breed” — something we believe doesn’t really exist since all dogs are beautiful in their own way.
Is it Harder to Care for an Ugly Dog?
Not exactly. Some breeds will have specific grooming needs because of their coat or other
physical aspects, but in general, they won’t be more challenging compared to other breeds.
Is it Difficult to Groom Ugly Dogs?
This will depend on the breed since some will come with unique coats like the Chinese Crested, which will need more frequent grooming and bathing to maintain good skin and coat health. However, some “ugly” dog breeds are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to baths and cleaning.
Are there Benefits to Caring for Ugly Dogs?
Of course! While many of these so-called ugly dog breeds aren’t as popular according to the American Kennel Club, they are less likely to have health issues specific to their breed. They’re also less likely to be victims of overbreeding, and owning a dog that’s more unique compared to others can be a great way to start a conversation. No matter where you go, you’re sure to find someone who will appreciate a dog that you don’t see every day.
Whether they’re considered to be beautiful or not, nothing is better than taking home a loyal dog that will love you and your family. A few choices in this article can become an excellent guard dog and can get along with young children, which is always a good thing. Just make sure to give them special attention whenever you have free time because no one will love your pooch the way you can.