2017 World's Ugliest Dog ® Contest

2017 Contest Information

Friday, June 23, 2017
Kiwanis Stage, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds

Dog Lovers Festival: 2: 00 – 8:00 PM

Contest: 6:00 PM

Entries submitted by May 15, 2017 will be FREE!
After May 15th, each entry will be $10 and is due when submitting your entry form, photo and biography.
All entries CLOSED – Wednesday, June 21st .

Contestant Hotline phone number is 707-867-6598

2016 Awards

Sweepee Rambo – 2016 World’s Ugliest Dog®

Second Place: Josie
Third Place: Rue
Spirit Award: Rooby Roux


PETALUMA, CA. Sweepee Rambo, a Chihuahua/Chinese Crested miniature creature owned by Jason Wurtz of Van Nuys, CA, won over the judges and the crowd for her lolling tongue and hairless coat in the 2016 World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest.  Chief Judge Brian Sobel said “Scoring was tough with so many uniquely qualified dogs but we’re confident that Sweepee will be a magnificent champion!”

Seventeen homely hounds competed in the annual World’s Ugliest Dog® contest for the title and world fame. An Ugly Dog contest has been held in the small California coastal town for over 50 years, 28 of them at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

Jason Wurz - Sweepee Rambo Photo by Karen Spencer
Jason Wurz - Sweepee Rambo Photo by Karen Spencer

From the Meet and Greet with the hosts to a Red Carpet Walk and a Fashion Faux Paw Show featuring Ugly Sweaters, this annual competition has all the trappings of a Hollywood event, including cameras flashing and video rolling by international and network media. Even dog royalty Snoopy was in attendance.

“We celebrate the spirit and imperfections that make these dogs loveable and adoptable,” explains Karen Spencer, Marketing Director.

Download 2016 Winner Press Release

World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest Applauds Imperfections

Homely hounds are the stars of this popular competition on Friday evening, June 24. This world-renowned event always delivers big entertainment at the Fair as pedigreed pooches and Heinz 57 mutts and their owners parade across the stage to a packed house and international media. “We’re proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great add to any family.” explains Erin Post, CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

Nationally syndicated morning show radio celebs Bob & Sheri, who can be heard daily on The Mix, have been tapped for hosting the contest. Head Judge Brian Sobel will be joined by Neal Gottlieb from Three Twins Ice Cream and a contestant on Survivor, and Indra Petersons from ABC.   Top awards are given for the Ugliest Dog and a Spirit Award that honors a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community. 2016 Top Dog was Quasi Modo and the Spirit award went to Precious, for community service visiting disabled veterans.

Returning this year is the Fashion Faux Paws Fashion Show for dogs and the popular Beauty and the Beast Walk returns featuring Miss Sonoma County court escorting adoptable rescue dogs on the “catwalk”. On hand will be the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, and Noah’s B’Ark North Pet Rescue.

The Dog Lover’s Festival at the Kiwanis Stage on Friday afternoon at 2:00 pm includes exhibitor booths and visits with the contestants and owners. There will be a Meet & Greet for the public from 4:00-5:00 pm with Bob & Sheri and Snoopy.

2017 Judging Team

To Be Determined

The old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is exemplified at the World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA. The internationally observed event celebrates homely hounds and the humans who love them.

For 28 years, the Contest has been a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend. The owners of all kinds of dogs are also all kinds of people, from youngsters to senior citizens, each proud of their pet despite missing fur, crossed eyes, duck waddles or mismatched ears. They proudly walk both pedigreed pooches and Heinz 57 mutts down the red carpet to the cheers and clapping of the crowd.

Prior to arriving for the contest, all the dogs must provide a veterinarian’s paperwork asserting that they are healthy.  The World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest follows up with a vet check on-site just prior to the contest.  The Sonoma Humane Society is also on site with information showcasing adoptable pets.

A good many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills and the contest has done much to raise awareness for adoption of dogs, and that no matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions.  And the dogs certainly seem to enjoy the adoration of the fans.

The annual World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest is not about making fun of “ugly” dogs, but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!  We are putting the finishing touches on the entry form and will get that to you ASAP along with more detailed information about this year’s contest.