Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

Yoda's short tufts of hair, protruding tongue and long, seemingly hairless legs were enough to earn her the World's Ugliest Dog title at a Northern California fair.

The 14-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix won the honor Friday night at the 23rd annual contest at the Sonoma Marin Fair.

Owner Terry Schumacher of Hanford, Calif., said the 2-pound dog had come a long way since she was found abandoned behind an apartment building.

Schumacher said she at first thought the pooch was a rat when her daughter Nicole presented her.

Ruff life: Paris label sells $14K dog bowl, $17K dog bed

"I thought she was bringing me a field rat — a dead field rat," she told TODAY.

But Nicole insisted on keeping her — and now, Yoda's a champion.

"If I gave you a coupon that said you could have a free Jill Rappaport makeover for Yoda," asked Ann on the TODAY couch, "would you take that coupon?"

At 187 lbs., flabby Lab can hardly fit in doghouse

"We love her just like she is," said Schumacher.

Yoda's distinction came a year after a one-eyed Chihuahua named Princess Abby claimed victory.

A pedigree Chinese crested won in 2008 and another Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix was the ugliest in 2007.

In past years, the winner's owner has received a $1,000 check.