A-z - Animals

Top 10 Ugliest Dog Breeds

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  • Many of the dog breeds that can be found on this list have very wrinkled faces, including pugs, pit bulls, and mastiffs.
  • Some of the animals on this list can be found at dog shows and other show competitions.
  • All of the breeds found on our top 10 ugliest dog breeds list are downright ugly!
Pitbull sneezing
Bulldogs are often intimidating due to their fierce stature, but owners know there's a lot to love about this loyal breed.

© memorable9/Shutterstock.com

When you think about it, many breeds of dogs are kind of ugly. Now, they don't look scary , but the ugliest dog breeds do tend to have flat faces, hairlessness, barrel bodies, bow legs or round eyes, or possibly all of the above. One of them was even nicknamed "The Ugly Rat Dog"!

For larger dogs, ugliness is often a sign of a dog's strength and, frankly, its danger. For example, you won't find wolfhounds guarding junkyards. But looks have never stopped a dog from being loyal, loving and affectionate, obedient and playful. Here's our list of the 10 ugliest dog breeds .

10. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese crested dog running on the beach
For those with allergies, the Chinese Crested is a great option.

© iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography

One of the ugliest dogs around, this unlovable little mutt is always in the ugliest dog contests and often wins. The most common and ugliest form of this dog is hairless, with only some hair left on the top of the head, ears, feet and tail.

Another form, the puff has a gorgeous coat that is actually quite beautiful. Whether naked or fully covered, the Chinese Crested is an affectionate and playful companion that thrives in apartments. Standing at 9 to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighing only 5 to 12 pounds, this unfortunate-looking dog has a short lifespan for a small breed. Its lifespan is about 10 to 12 years.

Chinese Cresteds love to spend time with their owners. They are very obedient, which makes them great for competitive sports like flyball. They are also known for making great therapy dogs. They tend to be good at seducing and are very sensitive by nature. This means they are best trained using gentle patience.

Go here to learn about the Chinese Crested.

9. Neapolitan Mastiff

ugliest dog
Neapolitan Mastiffs are a noble breed, they are very loving to their owners and can appear intimidating to strangers.


In 2017, a Neapolitan Mastiff named Martha bested all Chinese Cresteds in the World's Ugliest Dog competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California. And for good reason. The Neapolitan Mastiff has a huge head, wrinkled and dewlapped, with a permanently wrinkled forehead and melancholy eyes. It even has wrinkles around its front feet. Developed as a guard dog in Italy, the Mastiff is large and powerful, standing 26 to 29 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 110 and 150 pounds. A really tall male can weigh up to 200 pounds. It has an arched back, thick neck, and broad chest, covered with a dense but hardy coat.

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The Neapolitan Mastiff is a protective dog who likes to be close to his family and is a great breed for families with children. However, it sheds profusely, drools, and requires protection from heat. The big, ugly dog suffers from health problems including hip dysplasia and rarely lives beyond 10 years. Despite their size, the Neapolitan Mastiff can do well in an apartment, but still needs a lot of exercise.

To learn more about the Neapolitan Mastiff, read this.

8. Bulldog

australian bulldog
A cute white Australian Bulldog sitting on green grass during daytime.

© Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

One of the ugliest dog breeds, the bulldog's ugliness has led to it being affected by health problems. Its sunken face and protruding jaw make it difficult for it to breathe normally, and its huge head sometimes requires a caesarean section. Its eyesight is usually poor, and it cannot tolerate hot weather or even a hot room, but it cannot tolerate cold either. Because of this, pit bulls are great indoor dogs because the temperature can be controlled. The dog has a barrel-shaped body, short, hoop-shaped legs, and a tail that sometimes curls over the back like a pig.

Despite its good looks and the fact that it was developed to lure bulls, this dog is gentle and loving while maintaining its original traits of bravery and persistence. It stands 12 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 49 to 55 pounds. Its short coat is easy to manage, but the creases on its face need to be kept clean. Health problems in the pit bull limit its life expectancy to only about eight years.

Read this article to learn more about pit bulls.

7. Pug

Oldest Dog: Snookie the Pug
If you need a charming, funny and affectionate companion, the Pug is the one for you.

© Khilenko Anastasiia/Shutterstock.com

Like pit bulls, pugs have a wrinkled face. Like the Neapolitan Mastiff, it has a perpetually worried expression on its face, although this dog is laid-back, affectionate, submissive and happy. It has a sturdy little body supported by thin legs. Its ears are also thin and wrinkled, like a bulldog, and its tail is curled over its back. This small dog was developed in China in the 16th century and was bigger than it is now before coming to Europe and other parts of the world. Now it's 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 14 and 18 pounds. Coupled with its lovely temperament, its longevity more than makes up for its ugliness. Pugs can live up to 15 years.

Read more about pugs in this article.

6. Scottish Deerhound

ugliest dog
Deerhound puppies and stolen cloth on the lawn. Brought up to chase prey, he can't shake his instinct to chase running creatures and is better off in a single dog home.

©Kim Christensen/Shutterstock.com

Standing 28 to 30 inches at the shoulder, this large dog has a dignified manner. Unfortunately, its ugliness is due to its disproportionately small, pointed head and scruffy coat and beard on its massive body. The preferred color for the fur is the really humble blue-gray of an old stockpot.

The dog was developed in Scotland in the 9th century to hunt deer, and it did so successfully until the invention of firearms lessened their assistance. Its unattractive coat protects it from the elements. As a companion, this dog is loving and loyal but, despite its size, is too amiable to be a good watchdog. He is also a great apartment dog because he likes to be at ease indoors. The Deerhound is similar to the Irish Wolfhound, but the parts of the Wolfhound are well balanced enough that viewers think it's ordinary rather than ugly.

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Go here to learn more about the Scottish Deerhound.

5. Épagneul Pont-Audemer

ugliest dog
The Epagneul Pont Audemer is a hardworking breed that is generally easy to train, yet playful and affectionate.

© Canarian/Creative Commons – License

Don't let the fancy French name fool you. This bow wow is a real bow wow. The somewhat rare Épagneul Pont-Audemer is a hunting dog developed in France in the 17th century for flushing and retrieving game. It stands 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 40 and 53 pounds, but what sets this dog apart is its shaggy curly coat and feathers. This makes the coat weather resistant but does nothing for the dog's overall appearance. Also, it has a ring of lighter color around its dark eyes, as if it had leukoplakia. This, along with the messy tiara, made Épagneul Pont-Audemer look odd. It is also prone to hair loss.

Still, this dog is playful, responsive, and affectionate.

4.Griffon Nivernais

ugliest dog
Originally bred for hunting small game in the French countryside, the Griffon Nivernais is a friendly, energetic dog.

© Canarian/Creative Commons – License

People thought the French could be forgiven for giving their ugliest dogs the prettiest names. Alas, no amount of grooming can tame this scruffy-looking pup's coat. It has a beard and mustache, and an unforgivingly thin tail. The Griffon Nivernais is a fairly large dog, 21 to 24 inches wide at the shoulders and weighing between 50 and 55 pounds, that originated in the 1200's when it was used for hunting big game.

Griffon Nivernais is feisty and friendly to humans, but stubborn, ugly and loud. It barks and bays a lot, which makes it unsuitable for apartment living. However, it can live in a country house with land for it to run around and expend a lot of energy. When taking this dog for a walk, keep him on a leash as he has a powerful chase instinct. Griffon Nivernais live between 10 and 14 years.

3. American Pit Bull Terrier

Types of Terriers
Beautiful American Bulldog outside. Pit Bull Terriers are one of the most affectionate and non-aggressive dogs.

©Ivanova N/Shutterstock.com

Yes, it's ugly, and it should be. Originally bred in America to torment bulls and is still used to fight other pit bulls, it was primarily a guard dog and a fight to the death companion for humans. This dog has a big, ugly head and huge jaws with a bite force of 235 pounds per square inch. It's not that big at 18 to 24 inches tall and weighs 50 to 80 pounds, but it makes up for that in sheer musculature. Bulldogs are also notoriously high in pain threshold.

This dog's strength and reputation are balanced by its love of family, especially children, and its surprising playfulness. This ugly dog has a life expectancy of 12 years.

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For more information on Pit Bull Terriers, read this.

2. Affenbins

Affenpinscher standing on the grass
Affenpinschers are friendly dogs, but they can also be lively!

© f8grapher/Shutterstock.com

Poor affenpinscher is a beagle who always looks like he's being beaten by a well-trained rodent. It has shaggy fur, round eyes, a majestic beard, and a blunt muzzle. Frankly, it looks a lot like a monkey, and one of its names is "monkey terrier," which happens to be what it means in German. Developed in Germany in the 17th century, it stands 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs only 7 to 8 pounds, making it very portable. Despite its small size, the affenpinscher is a formidable watchdog.

Monkey dogs are great for apartments but need protection from heat. More precisely, its fur is rough and matted and needs protection. The coat should not be trimmed, but should be hand combed, brushed and dehaired from time to time. Owners who are brave enough to have this dog enter a proper dog show rather than an ugly dog competition may want to hire a professional groomer.

Find out more about affenpinscher here.

1. Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux on the beach
Dogue of Bordeaux Big and ugly and drooling all the time

© otsphoto/Shutterstock.com

Can you think of a dog that bites harder than a pitbull? In fact, several dogs fit the bill, one of which is the Bordeaux. One of our ugliest dogs, it has a bite force of 556 pounds per square inch, which might be enough to make a pit bull cringe. Like Pit, Dogue de Bordeaux was massive, with a big, ugly head with a jaw that drooped like a bulldog and worried like a Neapolitan mastiff. It has a short, somewhat baggy coat with strong legs and hindquarters. The Dogue de Bordeaux was trained in France as a guard and a game-hunter, but it is sometimes used to lure bulls.

Not only is the dog big and ugly, but it's also drooling all the time. Standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 80 and 100 pounds, he is a superlative guard dog, yet loyal and gentle, especially with the children of the family. Surprisingly, as long as he can walk and exercise, he is a good dog for living in an apartment. Most, unfortunately, Dogue de Bordeaux live only five to eight years.

To learn more about Dogue de Bordeaux, visit here.

Runner Up: Hairless Terrier (Ugly Rat Dog)

Two American Hairless Terriers
The American Hairless Terrier is sometimes called the "ugly rat dog."

©Martyna Nysk/Shutterstock.com

In a recent Youtube video, an American Hairless Terrier was nicknamed "The Ugly Rat Dog". While it's certainly not kind to call one's own dog an ugly rat dog, the American Hairless Terrier could be the runner-up on our list of ugliest dog breeds. Interestingly, the first was born in a litter of rat terriers. A couple ended up with the unusual puppy and loved the fact that he was hairless, flea free and not a shedding dog. The couple bred their dog with its original sire, and from there, the American Hairless Terrier breed emerged.

While some may call it an "ugly rat dog" or just plain "ugly," the lack of hair isn't all that makes this breed truly attractive. American Hairless Terriers are friendly, intelligent and get along well with children. They also do well in households that want more than one dog. They are also very curious dogs, but this can get them into trouble. American Hairless Terriers tend to bark and you will need to be careful to protect their skin from staying in direct sunlight for too long as their skin can get sunburned.

list of ugliest dog breeds

Here is a summary of the top ten ugliest dog breeds:

rank dog breed
10. Chinese Crested
9. neapolitan mastiff
8. Bulldog
7. pug dog
6. Scottish Deerhound
5. Épagneul Pont-Audemer
4. Griffon
3. american bulldog
2. affenbinscher
1. Bordeaux winery

ugliest mixed breed dog

Some ugly dogs belong not to one traditional breed, but to a combination of two or more canine species. Many of the winners of the top ugly honors at the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair's Ugliest Dog Contest are mixed breed or mutt dogs. Some of the breed pairings that produced champion dogs in this competition include Chinese Crested + Chihuahua, Beagle + Boxer + Basset Hound, Pitbull + Dutch Shepherd, Chinese Crested + Japanese Chin and Shih Tzu + Chihuahua.


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My name is Rebecca and I have been a professional freelancer for nearly ten years. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessed with cats and pet mice.

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