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Top 10 Ugliest Dog Breeds In 2024

When considering it, many dog breeds possess features that some may find less conventionally appealing. While they may not be terrifying to look at, the ugliest dog breeds often exhibit characteristics such as squashed-in faces, hairlessness, barrel bodies, bandy legs, or protruding eyes, and occasionally, a combination of these traits. One breed has even earned the nickname “ugly rat dog”!

In larger dogs, unattractiveness can sometimes signal power and, frankly, potential danger. For instance, you wouldn’t expect to see a borzoi guarding a junkyard. However, a dog’s appearance has never hindered it from being devoted, affectionate, obedient, and playful.

Here’s our compilation of 10 of the ugliest dog breeds.

10. Chinese Crested Dog

One of the contenders for the title of the ugliest dog, this peculiar little mutt often participates in Ugliest Dog contests and frequently emerges victorious. The most recognizable, and arguably unattractive, variation of this breed is hairless, with only a smattering of hair on its head, ears, feet, and tail.

On the other hand, the Powderpuff variety boasts a luxurious coat and is considered quite charming. Whether bare-skinned or fully coated, the Chinese crested dog is a loving and lively companion that thrives in apartment living. Standing at a height of 9 to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighing a mere 5 to 12 pounds, this visually peculiar dog has a relatively short lifespan for its size, averaging around 10 to 12 years.

The Chinese Crested Dog delights in spending time with its owner and is highly obedient, making it well-suited for competitive sports like flyball. They are also known for their excellent performance as therapy dogs. With a sensitive nature, they excel in activities like lure coursing and respond best to gentle and patient training methods.

9. Neapolitan Mastiff

In 2017, Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, emerged victorious over all the Chinese Crested dogs at the World’s Ugliest Dog contest held at California’s Sonoma-Marin Fair. This outcome was hardly surprising given the Neapolitan Mastiff’s distinctive appearance—characterized by monstrously large heads adorned with folds and dewlaps, perpetually wrinkled foreheads, and sorrowful eyes. Even its front feet are adorned with wrinkles. Originating in Italy as a guardian breed, the Neapolitan Mastiff is substantial and robust, standing between 26 to 29 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 110 and 150 pounds, with some particularly large males tipping the scales at 200 pounds. It features a distinctive roached back, a thick neck, and a broad chest adorned with a dense but firm coat.

Despite its intimidating appearance, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a protective and affectionate companion that enjoys being close to its family, making it an excellent choice for households with children. However, potential owners should be prepared for shedding, excessive drooling, and the need to safeguard the dog from hot temperatures. Like many large breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff is susceptible to health issues such as hip dysplasia and typically has a lifespan of around 10 years. While it can adapt to apartment living, this big and sometimes “ugly” dog still requires ample exercise to thrive.

8. Bulldog

Considered one of the less conventionally attractive dog breeds, the bulldog’s distinctive appearance comes with its share of health challenges. Its flattened face and undershot jaw often lead to breathing difficulties, while the large head can necessitate Caesarean section deliveries for puppies. Additionally, bulldogs commonly suffer from poor eyesight, and struggle in hot weather or heated environments, yet are also sensitive to cold temperatures, making them primarily indoor pets where climate control is possible. With a barrel-shaped body, short, bowed legs, and a tail that may curl over its back resembling that of a pig, the bulldog presents a unique silhouette.

Despite its appearance and historical role in bull-baiting, the bulldog is known for its gentle and affectionate nature, retaining its original traits of bravery and tenacity. Standing between 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weighing 49 to 55 pounds, the bulldog is relatively compact. Its short coat requires minimal grooming, although attention to cleaning the facial folds is essential. Unfortunately, the bulldog’s health issues often limit its lifespan to around eight years.

7. Pug

Similar to the bulldog, the pug boasts a wrinkled visage that contributes to its distinctive appearance. Resembling the Neapolitan Mastiff, it often sports an expression of perpetual concern despite its laid-back, affectionate, and cheerful demeanor. With a stout physique perched atop slender legs, the pug’s ears also tend to be thin and folded, and like the bulldog, it carries its tail in a curled position over its back. Originating in China during the 16th century before gaining popularity in Europe and beyond, this diminutive breed was once larger in size. Today, it typically stands between 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 14 and 18 pounds. Despite its unconventional looks, the pug’s amiable disposition and relatively long lifespan of up to 15 years contribute to its charm.

6. Scottish Deerhound

This imposing canine stands tall at 28 to 30 inches at the shoulder, exuding a dignified presence. Regrettably, its appearance is marred by a disproportionately small and pointed head atop a massive body, accompanied by a scruffy coat and beard. The preferred fur color is a rather uninspiring blue-gray reminiscent of an old stockpot.

Developed in 9th-century Scotland for deer hunting, this dog excelled in its task until firearms diminished the need for its assistance. Its unattractive coat served to shield it from the elements. As a companion, the Scottish Deerhound is affectionate and devoted, although its gentle nature renders it less suitable as a watchdog despite its formidable size. Additionally, its laid-back demeanor makes it well-suited for apartment living, as it prefers to relax indoors. While resembling the Irish Wolfhound, the Scottish Deerhound’s features lack the balanced proportions that would categorize it as homely rather than unsightly.

5. Épagneul Pont-Audemer

Despite its fancy French name, the Épagneul Pont-Audemer is a down-to-earth canine. Somewhat uncommon, this breed of gun dog originated in 17th-century France for the purpose of flushing and retrieving game. Standing between 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing 40 to 53 pounds, what truly sets this dog apart is its disheveled coat, adorned with untidy curls and feathers. While this coat provides weather resistance, it does little to enhance the dog’s overall appearance. Additionally, its dark eyes are encircled by a lighter hue, resembling vitiligo, and coupled with a messy topknot, contribute to the Épagneul Pont-Audemer’s peculiar appearance. Moreover, the breed is susceptible to alopecia.

However, despite these physical quirks, the Épagneul Pont-Audemer is known for its playful, responsive, and affectionate nature.

4. Griffon Nivernais

One might find it ironic that the French bestowed such elegant names upon their less aesthetically pleasing dogs. However, no amount of grooming can refine the appearance of the defiantly scruffy Griffon Nivernais. Sporting a beard, mustaches, and an unusually slender tail, this rather sizable canine stands between 21 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 50 to 55 pounds. Originating in the 1200s, this breed was initially utilized for hunting large game.

The Griffon Nivernais is known for its active and sociable nature, although it does possess a stubborn streak. Not only is it visually unappealing, but it is also quite vocal, frequently barking and baying, rendering it ill-suited for apartment living. However, it thrives in a rural setting with ample space to roam and expend its considerable energy. When out for a stroll, it is essential to keep this dog on a leash, as it possesses a strong chase instinct. With a lifespan ranging from 10 to 14 years, the Griffon Nivernais requires dedicated care and attention.

3. American Pit Bull Terrier

Yes, it’s unattractive, but its appearance serves a purpose. Initially bred in America for bull-baiting, and still often bred for dog fighting, the pit bull primarily functions as a guard dog and loyal companion willing to defend its humans to the end. Featuring a notably large and unsightly head, along with massive jaws boasting a formidable bite force of 235 pounds per square inch, this breed stands at a modest height of 18 to 24 inches and weighs between 50 to 80 pounds, compensating for its size with impressive muscularity. Despite its intimidating physique, the pit bull is known for its deep affection for its family, particularly children, and its unexpectedly playful nature. Despite its unattractive appearance, this breed typically enjoys a lifespan of around 12 years.

2. Affenpinscher

The affenpinscher, often referred to as the “monkey terrier,” appears as if it’s been outsmarted by the rodents it was originally bred to hunt. With a perpetually disheveled fur, protruding pop eyes, an impressive mustache, and a blunt muzzle, this breed indeed bears a striking resemblance to a monkey. Developed in Germany during the 17th century, it stands at a mere 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs a lightweight 7 to 8 pounds, making it conveniently portable. Despite its diminutive stature, the affenpinscher excels as a vigilant watchdog.

Ideal for apartment living, the monkey dog requires protection from heat, particularly its coarse and untamed coat. Rather than clipping, its fur should be regularly combed, brushed, and hand-stripped to maintain its texture. Owners considering showcasing their affenpinscher in formal dog shows may opt for the assistance of a professional groomer to ensure a polished appearance.

1. Dogue de Bordeaux

Can you name a dog whose bite rivals that of a pit bull? Surprisingly, there are a few contenders, and one of them is the Dogue de Bordeaux. Among our list of less aesthetically pleasing dogs, this breed boasts a formidable bite force of 556 pounds per square inch, potentially enough to give even a pit bull pause. Much like the pit bull, the Dogue de Bordeaux is characterized by its robust build, featuring a sizable and unattractive head with an undershot jaw reminiscent of a bulldog’s and a concerned expression akin to a Neapolitan mastiff’s. Sporting a short, somewhat slack coat and sturdy legs and hindquarters, this breed was originally trained in France for guarding duties and game hunting, occasionally being utilized for bull-baiting.

In addition to its imposing size and appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux is notorious for its constant drooling. Standing between 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing 80 to 100 pounds, it serves as an excellent watchdog while remaining devoted and gentle, particularly towards children in the family. Surprisingly, this breed adapts well to apartment living given sufficient walks and exercise. Unfortunately, the Dogue de Bordeaux typically has a relatively short lifespan of five to eight years.

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