A chihuahua has been branded the World's Ugliest Dog at a competition in California.

The tiny dog, called Yoda after the Star Wars character which it bears a resemblance to, was found abandoned by owner Nicole Schumacher, from Hanford, California, who initially thought the dog was a rat.

Thanks to its scraggly fur, bloodshot eyes and protruding tongue, the 14-year-old dog sailed to victory in the competition.

Yoda beat one-eyed Hercules and Handsome Hector, meaning that its owner took home $1000, a trophy and lots of dog treats.