The Great Ringo - the ugliest dog in town - is a 'real chicken'

With a mohawk hairdo and a nasty underbite, The Great Ringo lives up to his billing as the winner of the Ugliest Dog in Town contest.

Looks can be deceiving. Despite a menacing face and unruly coat, Ringo “is a real chicken,” says his master, Natashia Cross.

“He is afraid of his own shadow,” Cross said today. “He’s terrified of everything.”

Ringo was rated the ugliest dog among 14 canine contestants in The Bee’s contest, which ended this week.

Ringo faced some fierce (and fierce-looking) competition, including Opie, a Chinese Crested male that took part in last year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair.

And what breed is Ringo?

“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Cross, who described her dog as small and weighing about 14 pounds. She claimed Ringo from an animal rescue group and estimates he’s about 10 years old.

Cross, who works at a Tracy veterinary clinic, grooms Ringo and takes credit for the mohawk.

Ringo is just one of several animals Cross cares for at her Escalon home. She has cats, birds and a female Labrador retriever with whom Ringo has a close bond.

By winning the contest, Ringo earned Cross a month’s worth of service from Dog Gone Poop, a Modesto-based pet waste removal service. The honor didn’t seem to faze Ringo, who posed for a Bee photographer Thursday evening.

“Fame hasn’t affected him yet,” Cross said, although she noted “he’s in trouble now because he peed inside my house.”