14 Exploring Unique and Often Misunderstood Ugly Dog Breeds

Ugly Dog Breeds

Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Fumipets

14 Exploring Unique and Often Misunderstood Ugly Dog Breeds


While beauty is subjective, some dog breeds are often labeled as “ugly” due to their unconventional appearances. However, these breeds possess unique charm and qualities that make them beloved by many dog enthusiasts.

Here’s a summary of the characteristics of these so-called “ugly” dog breeds and answers to common questions about them:

  1. Distinctive Appearances: Ugly dog breeds often have distinctive features like wrinkled skin, unusual coat patterns, or exaggerated facial expressions that set them apart from more conventionally attractive breeds.

  2. Loyal and Loving: Despite their unconventional looks, these dogs are known for their loyalty, affection, and devotion to their owners, making them wonderful companions.

  3. Breed Misconceptions: The term “ugly” can be misleading, as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. What some may find unattractive, others may see as endearing and charming.

  4. Health and Care: It’s essential to focus on the health and well-being of these breeds rather than their appearance. Many may have specific care needs due to their unique physical traits.

  5. Adoption Opportunities: Ugly dog breeds are often overlooked in shelters, making them great candidates for adoption. These dogs can bring immense joy and love into their adoptive families’ lives.

Ugly Dog Breeds

Some dog breeds stick out as having looks “only a mother could love,” thanks to features like jiggly jowls, wrinkled scowls, and small strands of hair that appear haphazardly. However, many of the dog breeds on this list have been cherished for ages because they were once owned by ancient nobility.

Each of these puppies’ distinctive looks is undoubtedly something to be proud of; in fact, June 20 is recognized as Ugliest Dog Day, and the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is held every year in California to commemorate these lovable animals who deserve homes. For those who are fortunate enough to adore them without condition, these “ugly dog breeds” are lovely because of their distinctive characteristics. Despite the fact that the competition has been postponed this year, we feel compelled to recognize a few of our own contestants who are vying for your affection and possibly even your house. 

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1. Pug

The pug is the stereotypically unattractive but endearing canine with prominent creases and bulging eyes. Pugs were venerated by some ancient Chinese rulers, who gave them as presents to foreigners because they were held in such high regard. According to the American Kennel Club, the pug is currently the 29th most common canine type in America and is a beloved household pet.

2. Chinese Crested

The Chinese crested often wears a distinctive style with strands of hair outlining his fine-boned visage, making up for the absence of hair on the rest of his body along the crest of his head. 

Their unusual hairstyle, large, upright ears, and elliptical, wide-set eyes give them an exotic, mysterious, and playful appearance.

But relax—appearances can be deceptive. These relaxed sofas make good housemates and are unlikely to cause any problems other than claiming your seat.

3. Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington terrier, who is thin and lamb-like in look, can sport a Mohawk, but this dog’s hairstyle goes further. According to Klein, the breed’s distinctive tasseled ears are often created by trimming the dogs’ dense, curled fur. The one thing his hairstyle doesn’t do? Shed! Bedlington terriers make wonderful pets for puffy-eyed people who are more allergic-prone.

4. Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)

The xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican hairless canine, is usually born with no hair on its cranium or with a brief covering. Klein credits their hardiness and typical longevity of up to 18 years—despite the fact that they lack hair—to their spontaneous mating over many centuries in Mexico. They are regarded as the national canine of Mexico and are another “ugly dog breed” with a proud lineage. It is believed that their moniker derives from the old Aztec deity “Xolotl.”

5. Pekingese

The Pekingese is regarded as a species that is innately regal despite not having the lion-like tresses that their king-of-the-jungle peers do. Historically, they were known to luxuriate in the arms of Chinese rulers. Their position as adoring lapdogs hasn’t altered over the years, even though their business has.

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Pekingese are obedient and respectable pets who form strong bonds with their owners.

6. Bulldog

These hefty characters, the concentrated, scowl faces of many sports teams, are renowned for their robust height and slack jowls, but don’t be deceived by their outward appearance. Bulldogs may appear cantankerous on the outside, but they are actually goofballs at heart who get along well with children and families. In fact, they complete the top five canine types according to the AKC.

7. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds don’t instantly stand out as athletic-looking because of their lengthy visage, drooping ears, and salivating lips, but their excellent sniffers—the best among their canine counterparts—often have them burning on a smell track. Bloodhounds have even been used by the authorities to track down offenders and lost people. Detective Fido to you, then!

8. Japanese Chin

The cat-like Japanese chin is elegant and composed, making it a better fit for older families with knowledgeable canine owners who can appreciate that, like their feline companions, Japanese chins prefer things on their own terms and have an obstinate tendency. Low-energy couch dogs, with smooth, silken coats that ask to be caressed and cute, smushy features that clamor for never-ending affection. 

9. Italian Greyhound

The Italian greyhound weighs 7–14 pounds as opposed to the bigger breed’s 70 pounds, making it basically a miniature of the greyhound. However, what the Italian greyhound loses in height, it gains back in speed. These sight dogs are diminutive but elegant-looking, agile, and willing to accompany you on hunting excursions. But like their height, their stamina is limited, and they are equally content curling up on the sofa. From their lengthy past as an unattractive canine type preferred by nobility, those brief spurts of energy are a far contrast. According to Klein, the Roman Empire venerated these spindly puppies as a sign of social standing.

10. Bull Terrier

Bull terriers may be well known to Target customers (remember their symbol, Bullseye?) but for anyone seeing the breed for the first time, their circular, Humpty-Dumpty shaped skulls are difficult to ignore. Make sure to give him plenty of chances to burn off his energy because their jovial dispositions stick out for causing trouble.

11. Rat Terrier

Rat terriers would thrive on a farm and also enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle as a family companion in a home or condominium because, as their name implies, they love to hunt mice. They are able to be flexible in their agility thanks to their intentional look.

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They are a small- to medium-sized canine with an elegant, athletic look that suggests quickness, strength, and equilibrium. 

12. Irish Wolfhound

These big, dominant puppies, which can weigh up to 180 pounds, give off a frightening first impression but are actually docile giants to those who know them. 

Once upon a time, Irish Wolfhounds were brave large game hunters, capable of taking down a wolf in a single shot. They make peaceful and enjoyable friends today. They are too placid to be security canines, even though the mere glimpse of them will scare off any interloper.

13. Affenpinscher

The German word for “affenpinscher” is “monkey-like dog,” so it makes sense that this small, primate-like type would be included on the list of hideous adorable canines with unusual looks. This mustachioed monkey dog has a large personality in a small body and is best suitable for households with elder kids who can give these puppies the room they require.

14. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that can measure as little as three pounds and as much as six pounds, but don’t tell them that. Klein claims that despite their modest apple-like cranium and attentive ears rising erect and endearing, Chihuahuas have a self-assured, big-dog attitude. They aren’t scared to assert themselves in front of new people or puppies, so it’s crucial to associate them with both early on to help control their defiant side.

Common Questions about Ugly Dog Breeds:



Are ugly dog breeds less healthy than other breeds?

Not necessarily. Health depends on genetics and responsible breeding. Some ugly dog breeds may have unique health considerations due to their physical traits, so it’s essential to research and provide appropriate care.


Can ugly dog breeds participate in dog shows?

Yes, many dog shows have categories for various breeds, including those with unconventional appearances. Judges assess the dogs based on breed standards, not their perceived attractiveness.


What are some examples of ugly dog breeds?

Breeds like the Chinese Crested, Neapolitan Mastiff, and Bulldog are often considered unconventional in appearance but are loved by their owners.


Do these breeds have unique personalities?

Yes, each breed has its distinct personality traits. For example, the Chinese Crested is known for its affectionate nature, while the Bulldog is recognized for its calm and gentle disposition.


How can I adopt an ugly dog breed?

You can adopt these breeds from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or breed-specific rescues. Be prepared to provide them with the love and care they deserve, regardless of their appearance.

In conclusion, ugly dog breeds may have unconventional appearances, but they possess wonderful qualities that make them cherished pets for those who appreciate their unique charm and personality.



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