Is this really the World's Ugliest Dog?

The famous contest looks at inner beauty

Is this really the World's Ugliest Dog?

Shirley Zindler lifts up the jowls of Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff, during the World's Ugliest Dog Contest | Image: Eric Risberg/AP/Press Association Images

A Neapolitan mastiff named Martha has been named the World's Ugliest Dog at an annual event in the US.

With faces that only a mother could love, homely hounds went for the coveted title on Friday in California.

The contest, which organisers say looks at inner beauty, included a Red Carpet Walk and a Faux Paw Fashion Show.

Shirley Zindler sits with her dog Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff, who won the World's Ugliest Dog Contest | Image: Eric Risberg/AP/Press Association Images

The winner is awarded US$1,500 (€1,340), a trophy, and is flown to New York for media appearances.

CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair Erin Post says: "We're proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great addition to any family."

The annual contest celebrates those dogs that may not earn a best of show, but are lovable and adoptable anyway.

Notable past winners include Walle, a basset/boxer mix that waddled as he walked; Peanut, a tiny dog with a history of abuse; and Quasi Modo a short-spined mutt that was an audience favourite.

Quasi Modo wins top honours at the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in 2015  | Image: AP Photo/Noah Berger
In this  2014 file photo, Peanut, a 2-year-old mutt is held by owner Holly Chandler after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest | Image: George Nikitin/AP/Press Association Images

Not of course forgetting the 2016 winner, 17-years-old Chinese crested chihuahua Sweepee Rambo.

Image: sonoma-marinfair.org