Is there such a thing as an ugly pet? Here are breeds considered some of the ‘ugliest’ around…

12th September 2023

When we consider the word ‘ugly’, we instantly link it to an unpleasant appearance or characteristic such as a hurtful mindset or negative actions. So, it’s not surprising that we tend to avoid anyone and anything we consider ‘ugly’.

However, have you ever heard the term “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? What one person finds ‘ugly’, is another person’s beloved.

But sadly, the way a pet looks often affects their chances of finding a fur-ever home.

At Animal Friends, we believe all pets are beautiful and deserve to be loved, appreciated, and protected.

Let us show you the true beauty to be found in pets considered some of the ‘ugliest’ around…

Chinese Crested

Their small, hairless body, combined with fluffy faces, paws, and tails, makes Chinese Crested dogs one of the quirkiest-looking pups on our list!

Despite their unusual appearance, the cheerful Chinese Crested has plenty of positive personality traits, including:

  • Playfulness – they’re ‘chatty’ and enjoy playing games.
  • Intelligence – they’re easy to train and love to learn.
  • Loyalty – they’re amazing companions and thrive on human company.

Fun fact: Chinese Crested dogs are amazing at agility, thanks to their intelligence, positive attitude, and brilliant jumping skills!

Mexican Hairless

Whether they’re ‘miniature’, ‘medium’, or ‘standard’ in size, the Mexican Hairless can look intimidating with their pointed ears and stern expression.

Don’t judge this (or any other) pup by their appearance, though!

The Mexican Hairless can become your best fur-iend if you’re searching for a dog who is:

  • Active – they enjoy exercise (though need a coat in cold or rainy weather).
  • Cuddly – they love snuggling under blankets with their pawrent.
  • Quick to learn – they’re capable of em-bark-ing on high-level training.

Fun fact: Their smooth skin wasn’t always a characteristic of the Mexican Hairless, as their hairlessness was caused by a mutated gene – meaning some litters contain a mix of puppies with and without hair!

English Bull Terrier

Often associated with Bullseye, the fictional companion of villain Bill Sikes in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, the English Bull Terrier has been unfairly given a bad reputation.

There are so many benefits to being pet parent to an English Bull Terrier though, not least because they are:

  • Friendly – and adore all the attention they can get.
  • Joyful – with a sparkling zest for life, they never fail to cheer you up.
  • Enthusiastic – whether they’re wanting to play or cuddle, they’re always excited to spend time with you.

Fun fact: English Bull Terriers are one of the only breeds to have triangular eyes!


At first sight, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the Komondor for a sheep, or possibly an over-grown mop!

While this dog breed has a high-maintenance coat, along with a reputation for being strong-willed, the Komondor has some great traits, too. They can be:

  • Protective –you’re likely to feel safer with a Komondor by your side.
  • Energetic – if you love keeping active and want to share that passion with your pet, the Komondor may be the canine for you.
  • Quiet – unlike smaller dog breeds, the Komondor prefers being peaceful.

Fun fact: After bathing a Komondor, it can take 24 hours for their coat to dry!


They may look like little Ewoks from Star Wars, but the Affenpinscher has far more to offer than just their comical appearance.

What they lack in size, the Affenpinscher makes up for in character!

Here’s what you can expect with the addition of an Affenpinscher to your family:

  • Charming personality – with an amazing sense of humour.
  • Cleverness – they enjoy working with their pet parent to learn new tricks.
  • Fearlessness – an Affenpinscher likes to try new activities, e.g. mini agility.

Fun fact: The Affenpinscher was originally known in German by a name that translates to ‘little monkey dog’!

Meow for some cats…


Also known as the ‘werewolf cat’, the Lykoi has developed a reputation for looking slightly scary. Fairly new to the UK (having been brought here in 2013), this rare feline has a lot more to offer than their striking appearance suggests!

For example, Lykoi cats are:

  • Inquisitive – they love solving puzzles and playing interactive games.
  • Snuggly – after a long day, they like nothing more than to cuddle up with their pawrent.
  • Talkative – if they have an opinion, the Lykoi will raise their voice to share it!

Fun fact: This feline breed was first discovered in 2010, at an animal shelter in the USA, when veterinary health tests revealed their unique appearance was caused by a specific gene.


Pets who resemble fantasy characters are often popular with pet parents; perhaps they remind us of the magical stories we enjoyed as children?

So, with a look that falls somewhere between ‘Dobby’ from the Harry Potter series and ‘Gollum’ from Lord of the Rings, the Sphynx cat isn’t on everyone’s fantasy pet list.

These hairless cats can be brilliant companions, however, because they are:

  • Affectionate – and always want to spend time with you, even while you’re busy!
  • Curious – they’ll test their environment by pushing items off countertops or sitting in your way.
  • Trainable – with plenty of positive reinforcement, Sphynx cats are happy to learn tricks.

Fun fact: Despite the belief they are hypoallergenic (safe for people with cat allergies), Sphynx cats could still cause a reaction in those allergic to cat saliva or dander (flakes of skin, like dandruff).

Devon Rex

The first Devon Rex ever recorded was named Kirlee, who was born in Devon in 1960. This breed may also be called ‘the poodle cat’, due to their curly coat.

Ranging from small to medium in size, the Devon Rex’s pixie-like look matches this mischievous moggy’s temperament!

Some of the Devon Rex’s best traits include:

  • Friendliness – they’re likely to shadow your every move, in hope of becoming your best fur-iend.
  • Mischievousness – they like playing lots of different games and climbing as high as they possibly can.
  • Problem solving abilities – they adore using their intelligence to solve puzzle toys.

Fun fact: Rumour has it that Steven Spielberg’s ‘E.T.’ character was inspired by his Devon Rex cat!

Exotic Shorthair

Always sporting a somewhat grumpy or unimpressed expression, the Exotic Shorthair’s true nature couldn’t be more different.

They are:

  • Calm – preferring a peaceful, relaxed environment over the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
  • Lazy – since most Exotic Shorthair cats prefer snoozing in a sunny spot to hunting for prey.
  • Loving – once they get to know you, the Exotic Shorthair will happily curl up on your lap.

Fun fact: Exotic Shorthair cats have been around since the 1960s and the breed began as a cross between Persian and British Shorthair cats.

Oriental Shorthair

With large, radar-like ears and intense eyes, set within a triangular face, the Oriental Shorthair wouldn’t be out of place in a cartoon!

In reality, the athletic Oriental Shorthair cat can be a wonderful companion for the right pet parent because they are:

  • Quirky – and will try to entertain you however they can; by carrying shiny items around or knocking things onto the floor, for example.
  • Lively – since hunting is their favourite thing to do!
  • Family-orientated – as they adore affection.

Fun fact: Though they have a striking appearance, the Oriental Shorthair can be super stealthy and tends to enjoy stealing from other people’s homes.

Can’t get enough of cute ‘ugly’ animals? Visit our "Ugly" Endangered Animals campaign to discover five ‘ugly’ endangered creatures who need your help!