In the UK, breeds like the Chinese Crested and Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless) – the ones that are always shoo-ins to win Ugliest Dog contests – are growing in popularity, according to The Kennel Club’s registration stats.
Paul Keevil, an expert with British Heritage Dog Breeds, told The Telegraph he believed the spike could be due to pet parents “making a statement – whatever that statement is. There is certainly a growing appeal for these breeds, who seem to be, shall we say, a less-attractive bunch. It is a desire for the bizarre. People want something that looks a bit usual, a bit striking. The dog is to make some kind of fashion or lifestyle statement.”
On the other hand (paw?), breeds closer to a “10” in looks – including German Shepherds, Yorkshire Terriers and West Highland White Terriers – have seen UK registration drops of 27, 32 and 51 percent, respectively.
Another possible explanation for the hairless breeds’ popularity is that they have fewer allergens than their furrier brethren, making them ideal pets for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Among other unlovely breeds seeing an uptick in registration numbers are the Shar Pei, Pharaoh Hound and Dogue de Bordeaux. The registration of Chihuahuas and Pugs – pooches that fall more into the “So Ugly They’re Cute” category – has skyrocketed 332 and 557 percent.
“Maybe it makes the owner more beautiful,” Keevil told The Telegraph. “They say that people look like their dogs, but perhaps it doesn’t apply in these cases.”