There's a new trend taking England by storm that's challenging traditional definitions of what a "cute" pet should look like.
Mexican hairless and Chinese crested dogs have spiked in popularity across Britain, and Kennel Club officials say it's due to owners who are "making a statement," The Daily Telegraph reported.
According to the publication, these "less attractive" breeds are regarded for their hypoallergenic qualities and lack of shedding hair. But their growing appeal may also be marking a fashion or lifestyle shift that regards the eccentric as uniquely beautiful.
As Paul Keevil of British Heritage Dog Breeds told the Telegraph, "It is a desire for the bizarre. People want something that looks a bit usual, a bit striking. The dog is to make some kind of fashion or lifestyle statement. Maybe it makes the owner more beautiful. They say that people look like their dogs, but perhaps it doesn't apply in these cases."
In the U.S., the breeds are quite popular and are celebrated at "Ugliest Dog" competitions around the country along with other "aesthetically challenged" companion animals.