Photo competition sets out in quest of the UK's ugliest dog

A Chihuahua named Elwood sits with his tongue out before the start of the 20th Annual Ugliest Dog Competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair June 20, 2008 in Petaluma, California. Owners of ugly dogs travel to Petaluma from all over the country to participate in the annual contest.
Chihuahua competing in the annual Ugliest Dog Competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California (Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you live in the UK? And do you own a woofer that's a little less on the cute side? Our nation of dog lovers is being called upon to submit entries in celebration of the most visually challenging (the more polite way of saying hideous) dogs. 

Photography company,, is behind the launch of the competition - and will supposedly award the winning (ugliest) pooch with a professional makeover, full grooming session, and a photo shoot. 

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Owners of the UK's most unfortunate-looking dogs are being invited in an open call by photography company,, to enter its national photo contest to win their unseemly yet loved-no-less pooches a free makeover and a professional before and after-groom photo session. 

To enter, owners based in the UK must send in photos of their "ugly" pets by emailing images to - BUT those with "pretty" dogs are being urged not to apply.

The competition organizers have claimed that, while every dog is beautiful in the eyes of its owners, the contest sets out to celebrate pets who are "visually challenging" to look at, whether that's a Chinese Crested/chihuahua cross breed, a scraggy terrier, or a droopy skinned bullmastiff, there's plenty of woofers out there who get a lot less attention than the golden retrievers that dominate TikTok.

(Image credit: Shutterstock (supplied by

A spokesman for ParrotPrint has said: “Britain is a nation of dog lovers, but there are some pets out there with a face only a mother could love. We are talking about the pug ugly mutts who are truly difficult to look at. There are some awful-looking dogs out there but we wanted to give all of them the chance to shine."

They continue, “If you think your dog is butt ugly then we want to hear from you. The winning mutt will be treated to professional grooming, as well as a before and after photo session. Let’s see if we can transform an ugly dog into a beautiful pooch and brighten up its owner’s life at the same time.”

ParrotPrint adds that: “There have been a number of TV shows where humans get tarted up and given a makeover so we thought it would be fun to do the same thing for a dog. There are plenty of cute doggies out there across the UK but we don’t want to hear from them. This is a competition for only the most ugly dogs in the land. Forget about the cute dogs we want to see the uncute."

"I am talking about the dogs you’d cross the street to avoid. The mutts who look so ugly their owners feel they have to apologize for owning them. We believe we can transform them into something truly beautiful and give their owners a fantastic photoshoot experience too. But it has to be a challenge so pampered pooches need not apply.” 

The Ugly dog contest is now open and accepting entries. 12 shortlisted frightful woofers will be announced in December, ahead of the overall winner selection that will be announced by the company in the New Year.

• You may also want to take a look at our interview with "Pupparazzi" pro Kaylee Greer, as well as these 15 cute dog pictures to brighten your day, and learn how to improve your pet photography with these pedigree tips, and how to capture dog photography in action.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.