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With a face only a mother could love – or a pet owner, at least – ugly dogs bring a whole heap of joy to their human families. Even if they are a bit unsightly, it’s not all about looks in this world. And Ugliest Dog Day is here to prove it! 

History of Ugliest Dog Day

Each year, in the city of Petaluma, California, a contest is held to determine exactly which dog of all of them is truly the ugliest. This ‘honor’ has been an annual tradition in the local area since the 1970s when the contest got its start. Beginning as a way to generate some revenue for a group called the Old Adobe Association.

Starting out as a pet parade activity, the ugliest dog contest seemed to be a better fit for the event and became very popular – so much so that it became part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair by the late 1980s. And by 2009, the phrase “World’s Ugliest Dog” was trademarked by the folks who run the fair.

With the Ugliest Dog Contest typically taking place around the last week of June, Ugliest Dog Day can be celebrated in advance by people around the nation or even around the world. Ugliest Dog Day is scheduled to fall on the Third Friday in June.

How to Celebrate Ugliest Dog Day

Enjoy Ugliest Doy Day with some of these ideas for celebrating the day:

Attend the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

Those who are super serious about Ugliest Dog Day can make plans in advance to head on over to Sonoma County, California to attend the Ugliest Dog Contest. And those who have an ugly dog of their own? Perhaps it would be fun to enter the contest too!

While there, it would be a shame to miss out on the thing that Sonoma County is famous for all over the world – the wine. Visit a few vineyards, take a tour, enjoy a wine tasting. Perhaps even pop down to San Francisco for even more access to interesting travel activities and sites.

Show Some Appreciation to an Ugly Dog

Have an ugly dog yourself or know someone who does? Ugliest Dog Day is an ideal time to spoil that ugly dog with a little gift. Buy him a new toy or a little treat to chew on. Delight her with a new doggie bed or just pick up an extra box of her favorite biscuits. Or, even better, enjoy the nice summer weather and take that ugliest dog for a walk at the dog park to be social and play with some other ugly dogs!

Learn About the Ugliest Dog Breeds

One fun way to celebrate Ugliest Dog Day might be to learn a bit more about breeds of dogs that are considered to be ugly. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are certain breeds that tend to win the Ugliest Dog Contest each year.

  • Chinese Crested
  • Mexican Hairless Dog
  • Chihuahua (often mixed with other breeds)
  • Neapolitan Mastiff

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