Algarve dog is world champion

“Echo”, an Algarvian boxer dog, was crowned world champion in the “IPO1” category at the World Championship of Canine Sport, […]

“Echo”, an Algarvian boxer dog, was crowned world champion in the “IPO1” category, in the World Championship of Canine Sport, held last weekend, 7th and 8th of April, in Haro, province of La Rioja, Spain. 


This dog had already caused a stir by being the first boxer breed in history to represent Portugal in a world championship.

It is now back in the spotlight after having sounded the national anthem by winning the ATIBOX WM world championship, in the modality and level IPO1.

The pair composed by João Paulino, 40 years old, and the boxer dog Echo, two years old, are the most recent duo in canine sport to climb the podium where the Portuguese flag was raised.

The pair became champion of level 1 by reaching the partial of 99 points (out of 100 possible) in the track discipline, 85 points in the obedience discipline and 84 in the protection discipline, completing 268 points (out of 300 possible).

This competition had around 30 participants from ten countries and took thousands of spectators to the city of Haro, which was filled with enthusiasts who wanted to watch the binomial performances live.

João Paulino, Lagoon, dog trainer and head of the Iron Dog Algarve canine training school, founded a year and a half ago, in Quarteira, says that «the life dream of any sportsman is to reach first place in a world competition» mainly with “Such high scores”, as he stresses, “I did everything to represent Portugal with the utmost dignity and humility”.

“Echo” is only two and a half years old and started training in the modality “when he was two months old. Since then, training is daily and he loves it. We are a very united team and a binomial always ready to work», he says. “Echo” became, last weekend, one of the youngest dogs ever to participate and win this world competition.

About the use of the breed for canine sport, the canine instructor emphasizes that «unfortunately it is not common to see boxer dogs in Portugal practicing this modality, although they are still considered a working breed. We are fighting to change that paradigm and inspire more people to start in this sport, whatever the dog breed. We will continue to promote the sport in the Algarve, especially now, after this international recognition of our work».

“Winning a competition of this size and importance is the only way to prove the quality of the work we do. However, we want to remain discreet and continue the serious work that we have developed so far, without being dazzled», he adds.

João Paulino also highlights that «a set of initiatives will soon be launched in the Algarve region that aim to inform, sensitize and direct the public towards the practice of this and other types of canine sport» because, like humans «dogs also need to be exercise and be stimulated for a better quality of life».