Since 2016, Al and Ivonne Olvera from Lake Jackson have spent their time showing and breeding boxers, and they have quite a few ribbons to show for it.

This weekend could be another successful event as the 42nd annual Houston World Series of Dog Shows comes to the NRG Center, which began Wednesday. Concluding today, hundreds of different breeds of dogs will be judged, and the Olveras are hoping to take home some those ribbons.

“Our first boxer that we bought was RJ, who was an original show dog,” Al Olvera said. “We bought him at 1 year old and started showing him in 2017. So far he’s done well, getting ‘Best Breed’ and select dog in some competitions.”

Not really knowing much about the game of showing dogs or even breeding them, the Olveras dove headfirst into that competitive world.

“We really didn’t know what to expect,” Al Olvera said. “Now the dog, RJ, he knew what he was doing because he came from that. His father was of a fantastic breed and it came down to RJ as well. These boxers were bred in Louisiana.”

Whenever the Olveras enter competitions, they leave the responsibility of showing the dogs to Tina Starr, who is also a Louisiana native.

“It doesn’t take much to train a dog because they already have a lot of the qualities to be show dogs in them,” Al Olvera said. “A lot of that comes from genetics from his family. If you do have to train him it will be on a leash. But Tina has helped us tremendously with understanding how to handle the dogs in front of the judges. She will also be with us this week to help us with our boxers.”

Besides RJ, the Olveras also invested in Piper, a female boxer. Piper was an instant success for the Olvera, taking home championship status this year at a few events.

“She also had her first litter of puppies this year, so now we can say that we are in the breeding,” Al Olvera said.

Another change for the Olveras is Ivonne getting into showing some of their own dogs.

“A couple of weeks ago I did my first showing and I was so excited but nervous at the same time,” Ivonne Olvera said. “But I felt good doing that. I’ve been to a lot of shows since we started this and really the way that I’ve learned to show dogs is by watching others do it. I’ve also had some other handlers show me some things here and there.”

Ivonne showed Luke and Leia, a couple of the puppies, in that Dallas show.

“Actually, it was her who was teaching me how to show her,” Ivonne said. “All I did was hold onto her and she led the way. She responds well to the commands. I am hoping that I will be showing this week, I don’t know yet, but I hope I will.”

Luke and Leia competed in the puppy six to nine-month category this week while both RJ and Piper were shown in the championship category.

Joel Luna is sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160 or at

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