Welcome to Iron Dog school


Who are we?

Dog coach João Paulino

Who should I trust?

For 12 years I worked as a K9 security for the largest security company in the country. Since then, I have acquired knowledge and training experience in different fields, in multiple countries, and with different breeds. I am also a certified IGP helper and a track layer and a Mondioring decoy.
What I enjoy the most is the high competition training and entering trials. I am an active competitor in 3 different demanding sports: IGP, Obedience and Mondioring. In an activity that lacks regulation in the sector, especially in Portugal, I deeply believe that the best way to show our quality as dog trainers is through the transparency of competitions. It means entering the field on an equal footing with other coaches and putting all my knowledge into practice, proving the quality of my training through the achievements obtained. Yes, it is not enough to enter trials. You need to win them with fair play and distinction. In our school, the best students are directed to the competition team, which competes in representation of Iron Dog Algarve. At the same time, in addition to sports, my job at this well established canine training center is based mainly on helping other dog owners providing basic or advanced training to their dog, or, solving certain behavioral problems. We also have classes in the swimming pool and group classes. I am also proud to have participated in multiple canine sports and safety workshops and seminars with some of the best coaches in the world today:

– Toni Tur (SPAIN)
– Marko Koskensalo (FINLAND / CANADA)
– Martin Pejša (CZECH REPUBLIC)
– Dani Ruano (SPAIN)
– Michael Praig (Austria)
– Viorel Scinteie (GERMANY)
– William Langlois (FRANCE)
– Marek Urban (CZECH REPUBLIC)

Our mission

At Iron Dog our mission is to help raise awareness for training dogs and owners in the most effective, ethical and balanced way. Balance is the keyword. In everything we do. We sincerely believe that a dog is much more than a mere pet and, therefore, and with the help of our trainer, we will teach you how to enjoy your friend’s company more and better. Come and learn to stimulate him with new challenges and deepen and strengthen your connection with him! I saw a transformative experience.


National and international awards

There are several important moments experienced during my sports career.
If I had to choose some, they would be:
– Portugal representative at the WUSV World Cup World Championship (2014)
– Portugal representative in the ATIBOX WW World Championship – IPO1 World Winner! (2018)
– PORTUGAL BEST OBEDIENCE SCHOOL in 2019, by the Portuguese Kennel Club
– 2020 IGP Portuguese vice-champion (with a Boxer)
– 2021 Portugal representative of FCI World Championship

Singing the Portuguese anthem while standing on a podium in a world championship is an unforgettable experience. That is why I work dedicatedly every day without exception. Clearly, it took many other competitions in order to be able to represent Portugal in 3 different world championships. I maintain a positive but a serious attitude and hope that the best is yet to come. Annually, Iron Dog Algarve organizes around 4 to 5 dog sport competitions in the Algarve.


We have a wide range of services available


Puppy socialization

Indicated for puppies between 2 and 6 months. The socialization period for puppies is very short. It happens mainly between 2 -4 months. It is in this short period of time that the dog is like a sponge and will absorb and record in his mind all new positive (and negative) experiences. Your future behavior will largely depend on the outcome of these experiences. If you want a balanced and confident dog, without fears, you should definitely invest in socialization. The socialization of dogs, when properly managed, will prove to be fundamental in preventing future behavioral problems.

Basic obedience

In basic obedience classes, we mainly cover some fundamental exercises that will make life easier for both pet owners and dogs: knowing how to sit, lie down, stay, recall, walk on the leash without pulling, no barking to other dogs, no chewing stuff or jumping on people, are just some of the most requested exercises. However, this is a tailor made service as the classes are in individual, and the pet owner can decide which are the exercises they specifically wish to teach his dog. IRON DOG ALGARVE was considered the BEST SCHOOL OF OBEDIENCE IN 2019 BY THE PORTUGUESE CLUB OF CANICULTURE.

Group Lessons

These classes can be joined by all students whose dogs already have previous training in basic obedience. The class consists of a set of maintenance exercises that reproduce everyday life situations.


Preparation for temperament and competition exams

Competition is well-rooted in our school’s DNA. We try to direct our students whose dogs have a special skill for dog sports to different types of competition, especially: IGP, Mondioring and Obedience. At the same time, we can also get the work done for you and prepare your dog for competition. If you want your dog titled for some character of specific sport title, we will prepare it for any of the following certificates: TS, BH, IGP1, IGP2, IGP3, Korung, SPC, ZTP, COB, and levels 1, 2 and 3 Mondioring and Obedience.

Behavioral problems resolution

The most usual behavioral problems can be aggression towards other dogs and people (even owners), barking for no reason, separation anxiety, distress behaviours, possessiveness for food or toys, jumping on people, extreme fear, and total uncontrolled behavior, among others. Unfortunately, to some of these problematic dogs, our dog trainer is the ‘last chance’ before euthanasia. Fortunately, Iron Dog Algarve has been able to help everyone looking for our help, and save and change many lives for the better forever. The sooner you ask for help, the higher the success rate. It is important to recognize the problem as soon as possible and ask for help immediately.

Online / On-site individual training and Internships

Nowadays, more than ever, theoretical and practical training has become a huge demand from our clients and followers interested in knowing more about our training method. We are a ‘hands-on’ school, very practical, where all theoretical explanations are simultaneously followed by execution and demonstration on-site. However, during the year 2020 we will provide a 100% online platform with several courses where we combine the theoretical component with the practical aspect. At the same time, we are working hard to launch our flagship course: Initial and Advanced Training for professional Dog Trainers, certified by our school, with a very intense and demanding practical component.

Boarding school

xclusive service for dog owners who do not have much time or interest in training their dog on one-to-one individual classes. Tell us what you would like your dog to learn, and we will run the training for you. The dog will be delivered to you with the requested knowledge consolidated. The internship is concluded after a brief adaptation training and transfer to the owner. This service is the one that requires less interaction with the owner, however, we need to emphasize that dogs are not machines and, therefore, the success of the internship will always depend on the final involvement and dedication of the owner during the transition phase.

Security and personal protection dogs

Many dog owners want their dogs to perform very specific functions like property protection or self protection. Our dog trainer João worked as a K9 security professional for 12 years, so he knows exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it. He will direct the training in order to meet your goals, at the same time that he triggers your dog’s natural and innate protection instinct. In these classes, you will learn how to make your dog dissuade intruders and robbers, at your private property or when walking your dog on the leash. At Iron Dog Algarve we will prove you that a good protection dog can also be a good and balanced household member. 

Swimming pool lessons

Iron Dog Algarve is proud to be the first ever school in the Algarve to offer swimming pool lessons, with a fenced area, and a floor lined with artificial turf, exclusively for dogs! Swimming activity is mainly used when dogs need physiotherapy to recover from surgery (operations to hip dysplasia, fracture treatment, joint pain, muscle stress) but it is also an highly recommended activity for weight loss in obese animals, or simply, as a playful activity without impact to maintain the health and physical condition of the dog. Owners are invited to enter the pool and the service is available during the warmer months, usually between May until the end of October.

Dog Hotel / Day Care for dogs

We have hotel service for dogs upon request and availability. We also have a canine daycare service for owners with busy lifestyles but who are responsible and aware that their dogs need to have daily stimulating activities, interaction with other dogs, and can also benefit from training camp activities and our swimming pool, thus expending the necessary energy. In addition to these facilities, Iron Dog Algarve has a partnership with the PETS INN pet hotel.

Event organization

Seminars and conferences, public demonstrations, participation in films or commercials, dog walks, among others.



Outdoor training ground

Swimming pool


Parking lot


Meet our dogs!

Bull Terrier Pastor Alemão Doberman


Shepherds, Boxers and Belgian Malinois Shepherds. In 2019, we registered our own affix or kennel name: of Iron Kindgom, recognized by the International Cinological Federation (http://www.fci.be/en/) and the Portuguese Kennel Club (www.cpc.pt). And so started our adventure beyond the dog training and dog competition. Now as dog breeders. In 2019, we did our first litter of german working line boxers: Echo von der Konigswiese x Java vom Senffeld, two imported dogs from Germany, which we have been testing (in competition and in health) over the last few years with great results. From this combination 7 dogs were born. Two of them remain with us to be continuously tested in terms of health and character and prepared to compete in the upcoming years.

Much more than mere exterior beauty, there are two absolutely fundamental aspects that distinguish us from all other creators: character and health. All of our dogs are tested either by doing multiple health tests, as by entering character tests, in order to prove that they are balanced and complete dogs. In the future, we intend to produce very few litters. They will be extremely selected. We want to raise, educate and compete with dogs born under our kennel name. The idea is not to breed companion dogs, but rather, competition dogs with exceptional character and health. For exceptional dogs we will look for exceptional owners. Everyone who purchases dogs from our litters will have the right to enjoy at least 6 months of free training at our school and will be directed to follow the path of canine dog sport, if possible. The support given to these families is total and throughout all dog’s life.

For more information visit our page: https://www.facebook.com/IronKingdomKennel/


Soon we will offer 100% online training. Stay tuned!



We adopted a 1 year old Rodesian Ridgeback named Jack. Soon it became clear that he had a problem: other dogs. Chasing after them and by doing so, dragging me almost to the ground. It became so bad that I hardly dared to walk him anymore because I couldn’t control this big, powerful dog. We found a trainer but it only got worse. We were desperate because he is a very nice dog, just with a huge problem. Luckily we found Joao, who trained Jack. After a week in the boarding school we received a video of Jack participating in a group lesson. He was sitting next to other dogs, walking by them without looking or trying to chase them! We couldn’t believe it. Then Joao trained us, teaching us how to address his problem. Joao saved us! The best dog trainer we ever met. Dogs and owners like him, respect him and while learning a lot, he makes it fun for everyone. Many, many thanks and HIGHLY recommended!!

Cannot speak highly enough of Joao at Iron Dogs. Have 2 large breeds that were causing me (and potentially others) problems. Joao identified the problem areas immediately and we embarked on a training programme for both the dogs and me. His simple techniques have given me the confidence to exercise control of my dogs in any situation both from solitary walks to large crowds and especially with other dogs. I now consider him a friend and my dogs are always pleased to see him. His knowledge of all breeds temperaments allow him to use many techniques for correcting incorrect behaviour which produce positive results. You only have to see his interaction with his own dogs to verify his credentials.

I moved in Portugal during fall 2018 with my 1 year old beagle, Tiki. I was looking for day care and a professional trainer. Upon recommendations, I tested different methods. Various individuals dogs lovers and even an hotel for daycare. None of those solutions suit my expectations. Since she is 2 months, Tiki is used to interacting with other dogs, all breeds and therefore she is a very social dog who loves to show her power of seduction to get what she wants. Therefore, I was looking for a dog’s lover, yes but also a professional with strong expertise in training as well as a very good knowledge of beagle and ideally a man.  Someone I could trust and follow the advices.  As we say in French “ une main de fer dans un gant de velours”. It took me almost 4 months before knocking on Iron Dog’s door. At the beginning, I was not so fancy because the name sounds quite military. The best was to give a try, which I did.  I started with Personal training lessons before going to daycare and hotel when I traveled.  Tiki was born with hip dysplasia and needs swimming lessons. As soon as their pool was operational for spring and summer, Joao and Sara took her for a daily swim. The results we get, the relationships I created with Joao and Sara and the well being of Tiki each time I take her there, were and are till now over my expectations. Professionalism, trust, expertise, kindness and serenity best characterize what I could say about Joao and Sara. If you are looking for a dog’s professional with all of these qualities, don’t hesitate any longer.

Iron dog is a great training school,Joao is endlessly patient and really trains the trainer. Attending this school really improves both the dogs obedience and the pleasure you have owning a dog! Can’t recommend them enough!

Very good and efficient dog training with tailor made solutions. Thanks to Iron Dog I am now able to walk my dogs everywhere, and they are both happy and under control. We also enjoy attending group classes, learning new things and having fun at the same time.


We are located in the famous Algarve’s golden triangle: in the center of Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura. In a nice and quiet countryside area called Fonte Santa, just 4 kilometers away of the beach. The school operates from a farm with countryside animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, cats, birds, among others. A space full of life and tempting distractions for your dog. A small oasis in the countryside.

When you arrive at our facilities, notice an interesting detail: there are no barks or signs of stress! Everything here happens at a peaceful and tranquil pace. To find us, just type IRON DOG ALGARVE in Google Maps, and click in follow ‘directions’. We work by appointment, so we strongly recommend that you schedule an hour to visit us before traveling to our facilities.


Contact us


You can find us at the address below.


Call us using the following number.

+351 966 092 964

Or through our email address.


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