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Four Paws Up: Worst in Show

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Confession time at Casa de Kolchak.

You know those “Ugly Naked Dogs”? The ones that look like they have some sort of weird skin condition?
You know, these ones??

Rascal, one of the World’s Ugliest Dogs
Yeah. Shocking, I know. The Mama likes the Cresteds.

She thinks they’re cute. And hilarious. And a little grotesque. Kind of like a train wreck you can’t look away from. She has always thought that whole “World’s Ugliest Dog” dog show was the funniest thing ever. “UGLIEST DOG?!”, she’d say. “They’re all so darn cute!” She’s half-cracked and crazy, but she is fascinated by them. Fascinated by just who would think their dog is actually ugly enough to win an Ugliest Dog competition.
I mean, people say I should enter that contest all the time.
The Mama is always taken aback by the suggestion. I’m SO CUTE. There is no way *I* am the World’s Ugliest Dog…AM I?
My Mama says my underbite is sweet.
Who are the people to enter this competition? Do they really think their dog is ugly??
That’s exactly what the documentary Worst in Show by Breaking Glass Pictures is all about. Every year, people from all over the US (and even the World) flock to Petaluma, CA for the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. They compete to determine which dog is the least attractive. These dogs have got it all – lumps, humps, scars, and patchy fur. They’ve got bad teeth, wonky eyes and missing legs, but they are still well loved by their humans. We couldn’t wait to watch it it and learn about these ugly adorable pups and their people. 
Are these people for real?
OK, you have to imagine that a “Ugliest Dog Show” is going to attract some real…characters. You’ll meet them all in Worst in Show. The hardcore competitor with a fourth generation Ugliest Dog (Question: people actually breed for this??). The rescue dog with the crooked smile. The storm survivor with the sad past. I kind of expected the people featured to seem like caricatures of real folks, but I was surprised to find that not only were (most) of them (relatively) normal, I even found myself getting genuinely fond of some of them! (Seriously, it’s impossible not to fall snout over tail in love with the sweet woman who saved Princess Abby. We cried near the end when we learned just how much winning this competition has changed life for her and Abby.)

You don’t even know who to root for.

Are you supposed to root for a winner? Isn’t that a little mean? These dogs are…awful looking and adorable, all at the same time. I bet the last thing they need is even more damage to their fragile psyche’s as we mock them for our own (very good looking) entertainment. As you watch the competitors you’ll learn there is so much more to the World’s Ugliest Dog than bad hair and wretched teeth.

This thing is political y’all.

On the outside, it’s the world most backward dog show, but inside? This so called “casual competition” has rules, regulations and stuff. The dogs have to undergo wellness check, as only healthy ugly dogs get to compete. Competitors disagree about who is uglier: the dogs that were born ugly, the dogs who have grown ugly with age or those who were made ugly through accidents. They question the judging integrity (How much integrity can a “vote by clapping” really have?). That’s what interested me the most about worst in show – the behind the scenes relationships and rivalries.  People are crazy and awesomely unique. 

What we weren’t surprised is that these owners LOVE their ugly dogs.
They really do. They might be exploiting them for a little cash and their fifteen minutes, but that’s it. These dogs are there because someone loves them enough to look past the ugly titles and media attention. It’s fascinating really. At the end of the day, that’s what this movie about – dogs and the people who love them.
We give Worst in Show four very enthusiastic paws up.
It’s an interesting glimpse into a world where the Mama would never go herself. Rich and colourful, we loved how the story invited us to be a part of what is undoubtedly the wackiest dog show around. Worst in Show is well worth the watch.  You’ll laugh; if you’re like the sappy Mama, you’ll cry; you’ll experience all the emotions.
It’s Barktivating. You should watch it too.
Want to score yourself a copy of this feed good documentary? You can order your copy online by clicking here. Use couponcode PUGGLE at the check out and score an additional $5.00 off the sale price.
You’ll get a DVD with the documentary, plus the special features, which were awesome all in their own. (You don’t want to miss some of the silly things that come out of people’s mouths. Did you know you can use a crested as a hot water bottle? Yeah. True story. You can’t make this stuff up.)
What do you think of the World’s Ugliest Dog Show? Are those ugly naked dogs totally awful or awesome and adorable? You be the judge.
Kol’s Note: We received a free copy of this documentary for our review, but all of the opinion expressed are 100% my own honest opinion.
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