The World’s Ugliest Dog contest may sound like a joke, but it’s very real indeed. This year’s winner is a 10-year-old dog with short spine syndrome named Quasi Modo. The contest, which has been held for thirty-nine years, says that it’s about personality and how not every dog must be an AKC champion to be man’s best friend. Here’s some of the past winners, and what got them the coveted World’s Ugliest Dog title.
Sam, a Chinese Crested, won the title for three years in a row, from 2003 to 2005. His reign was only sadly ended with his death from a heart condition. Even now he lives on in World’s Ugliest Dog memory, as his photo is still commonly circulated with his infamous title. He even has his own Wikipedia page.
The World’s Ugliest Dog in 2006 was another Chinese Crested, Archie. Archie wasn’t the first winner, though, as someone removed thousands of votes from the first contest. Archie won fair and square in the runoff.
A Chinese Crested/chihuahua mix, Elwood, won in 2007. His long hanging tongue and Yoda-like appearance endeared him to many. He even got a children’s book written about him, Everyone Loves Elwood, by his owner Karen Quigley.
In 2008, the World’s Ugliest Dog winner was Gus, another Chinese Crested who lost a leg in a fight with a cat and an eye to a skin tumor. Sadly, Gus passed away from cancer in November of 2008.
It wasn’t a Chinese Crested, but a boxer mix that took the World’s Ugliest Dog title in 2009. Pabst’s underbite is possibly what made him take the title. His owner was surprised, saying he didn’t think Pabst was that ugly.
Princess Abby took the title in 2010. The judges said her closed left eye and deformed back and legs were possibly due to inbreeding.
Chinese Crested breeds are dominant in the competition, as seen by 2011 winner Yoda. Her rescuer saw her crooked teeth, bald patches, and raggedy ears and thought that she was a rat. Yoda unfortunately passed away in March, 2012.
Mugly continued the World’s Ugliest Dog competition Chinese Crested streak when he won in 2013. Mugly was a two-time champ for the title. He’d already won a “Britain’s Ugliest Dog” award in 2005. Presumably he is still reigning both titles in his Peterborough, England, home.
Surprisingly, the 2014 World’s Ugliest Dog winner, Walle, was not a Chinese Crested. The unlikely mix of beagle, boxer, and basset hound waddled his way into the hearts of the judges. One even said that he looked like he was “photo-shopped with pieces from various dogs.”
Once you take a look at all the other motley winners of the World’s Ugliest Dog title, it’s clear that Quasi Modo is in the best of company.
[Image via Getty Images/Justin Sullivan]