Mr Happy Face wins World’s Ugliest Dog contest in California

Well, here is a really nice photograph because we have the juxtaposition of this Chinese crested rescue pup who has just won the title of the World’s Ugliest Dog in Petaluma, California, USA with his female owner, Jeneda Benally, who is looking entirely normal and happy. She has the happy face. He has the funny and strange face. I think that I can confidently state that the Chinese crested dog has won this title before! Despite being conventionally ugly it is a popular breed. Ugliness is often transformed to attractiveness. Ugly can be attractive. It is the way that the human mind works. Perhaps because this kind of ugliness is unusual and therefore rare. The rarity is attractive.

Chinese crested pup Mr Happy Face crowned world's ugliest dog in Petaluma, California pictured here with owner Jeneda Benally
Mr. Happy Face, a 17 year-old Chinese Crested-Chihuahua adopted by Jeneda Benally of Flagstaff AZ., took the title of the worlds ugliest dog, during the Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Friday, June 24, 2022. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2022

This breed of dog comes in three varieties: the powderpuff, the hairless and the hairy-hairless! They are a toy dog breed and I’m told that they were originally used as ratters on board ship. They don’t come from China! They evolved from hairless dogs in Africa or Mexico apparently. The story is that they accompanied seafarers from China way back in the sixteenth century.

They been named the “Chinese edible dog”! That appears to be a reference to the culture of eating dogs in China. Because they are semi-hairless, they need to be washed by their human companion because the oils produced by the sebaceous glands has nowhere to go and therefore it sits on the skin and attracts dirt.

I would have thought that you would have to apply sunscreen lotion on hot days to prevent the skin from burning but one well-known dog website says that this is not necessary.

In any case, I’m also told that this dog breed doesn’t like going outside. They have no desire to run around like regular dogs it is said. I can’t believe it. They are not gregarious but intensely social and bond quickly with their pack. Their pack is the human family. They are reluctant to accept strangers but once they bond with a person they are devoted.

They are well suited to apartment living and achieve a five-star rating in that regard. They are highly sensitive and children-friendly. Their general health is described as good and they are easy to train.

Physically, they stand 11-13 inches to the shoulder, weigh up to 12 pounds and have a 10–14 year lifespan.

Dog books describe the Chinese crested as highly friendly but this apparently is inaccurate. They tend to be sensitive and reactive which combined with their high social drive makes them needy. They are likely to bite strangers unless they been well socialised and trained to eliminate this impulse.

Some people might think that they are hypoallergenic because of their limited hair cover. This apparently is untrue. They shed less hair compared to other breeds but they shed more hair than people think. In any case, they do have fine hair over their hairless parts.

Surprisingly, this breed is very tolerant of heat and can lie in the sun for hours. I find that surprising. What about sunburn, as mentioned? They don’t sweat through their skin and drink little water. Further, they rarely pant to cool themselves down. They hate the cold as you might expect.

Some Chinese crested dogs have bad reactions to topical flea treatments. They appear to be particularly sensitive to medications. Keep medications down to a minimum and they don’t normally need any flea or tick preventatives because they are partly hairless.

Because they are socially needy, they are more prone to separation anxiety. This can lead to barking and destructive habits when separated from their owner. It is said that any dog should not be separated from their owner for more than four hours at a stretch.

There appears to be a genetic link between hairlessness and missing teeth. I’ve seen lots of pictures of Chinese crested dogs with their tongue hanging out of the side of their mouth. Is this because they lack teeth?

Finally, they are not necessarily quiet. They behave like miniature guard dogs. If you want a quiet dog look for another breed.

Below are some more articles on dogs anatomy.

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