Nine to Fido: Being The World's Ugliest Dog


This month we check in with Mugly the World’s Ugliest Dog and star of the forthcoming Channel 5 documentary ‘Mutt Ugly’. Mugly has kindly taken time of his busy pawbiz schedule to tell us about his Nine to Fido as a Therapy Dog, which he’s been doing for the Pets as Therapy charity for the past two years.

Describe a typical working day 
I visit a children’s home for children with severe disabilities and local schools where reluctant readers read me stories.


Have you always been a famous working dog and what made you decide to start working Nine To Fido?
No, I was just a companion for Er Indoors, who's me dog-mum and pictured with me above. Er Indoors says I have the right temperament to be a therapy dog. I had to have an assessment to make sure I was suitable and I passed with flying colours. Being different, I work really well with children. I also raise money for Many Tears Animal Rescue by holding online dog pageants and photo competitions.

What training or qualifications did you need to get to be a Pets As Therapy dog?
I didn’t have any specific training, however, you have to have a calm, un-flustered attitude and be prepared for little hands that grab and can slap. No aggression or fear is allowed.

What are the pros and cons of your dog-job?                  
The obvious pro is the joy that I bring to children, the confidence they show as they finish a reading book is brilliant. On the downside, it’s tiring and can be very noisy, and at the children’s home I sometimes get walloped but I know they can’t help it and it’s great to see them smile.

What's been your biggest challenge?
Surviving an attack from a group of youths in our local park. I escaped through an open window and ended up in the park where four youths kicked me, punched me and hit me with a stick. A very kind lady rescued me and called Er Indoors who came and rushed me to the vets.


What has given you your biggest sense of achievement?
Without doubt being a P.A.T Dog. I was so chuffed when I received my Therapy registration certificate and got my first job, as you can see in my mug shot above. Seeing the children’s faces when they read their first book to me and knowing I am making a difference in their lives makes me so happy. At the moment we are planning a series of children’s books with me as the main character. Exciting times ahead.

What has been your most memorable doggie moment?
Winning the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in June 2012 in Petaluma California – I’m the only UK entrant to ever win!

What advice would you give to another dog interested in doing the same job as you?
Keep calm, don’t worry about the assessment, as it’s easy really. Enjoy visiting people - it really is such a great thing to do.

You can watch Mugly in action in his dogumentary ‘Mutt Ugly’ this Sunday 19th August at 10pm on Channel 5. The show follows Mugly’s pursuit for the title for the World’s Ugliest Dog from his preparations in the UK, his first flight and his arrival in the US, his interaction with fellow contestants, his exploits at the contest itself and the media storm that follows him and his owner Bev (Er Indoors) as they win and claim the title for the UK. 

You can also follow the social media savvy Mugly on Twitter @MuglytheUglyDog, Facebook (Ugly.Mugly) and on Tumblr at Ugly-mugly.tumblr.com.

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