About Us

                                                             The journey to Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) started with allergies and tears. Greg and Robin owned and operated Winsome Farms, a professional horse show-jumping barn. Greg rode, competed and trained full-time. Robin split her time between her primary career as a speech-language pathologist and teaching/coaching in the stable.   Their world was turned upside down when Robin became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with adult onset allergies…. to horses. 

After a lot of tears, the decision was made to sell Winsome Farms and leave horses for good.   This left a large hole; both Greg and Robin missed working with the animals, competing, breeding and teaching.  Fast forward to discovering dog sports. 

Obviously, there was a large worry that if Robin could develop allergies to horses, the same thing could happen with dogs.  After much research, many                                                                                                   of the “hypo-allergenic” breeds were considered and then struck from the list when it became apparent that they were either too small, too wimpy, not athletic enough or didn’t ‘do a job’. 

Rio - BOB - Shelly

A visit to a local dog show introduced Greg and Robin to “Timer”; a majestic, muscly, tough guy in a fluffy, curly teddy bear coat.  Little did they know that “Timer” (BISS CH Nautique’s Timeless Echobay) was the most winning Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) in Canada at that time.  He was the first PWD they met, and they were hooked. 

Greg and Robin welcomed “Rio” (CH Echobay’s Lifeguard, UD, AGI, CWDX, GROM) in 2002 and jumped into the world of Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) with both feet. Rio is pictured here with his breeder, Shelly Palash. For the past 19 years, dogs and dog sports took over every available minute. Weekends and holidays were spent traveling around Canada and the USA to dog events.


Greg - Holly Ary - Banff

Greg is now happily retired from an active career as a Captain in the Royal Canadian Airforce, horse show jumper and Land Surveyor. Greg enjoys water work, agility, and conformation.  Greg is proud to give back to the sport he loves as a Portuguese Water Dog Club of America Supervisory Water Judge. 

Robin - Holly - Ribbon

Robin continues her work part-time as a speech language pathologist specializing in children with Autism and consulting to businesses.  Dogs with outstanding temperaments are particularly important as Robin enjoys using their PWDs as therapy dogs alongside her in her work.  

Puppies are thoughtfully raised in our home. Adult dogs are happily underfoot wherever Robin and Greg are... in the house, at the lake, on the agility field, in the yard, or traveling to dog events in the RV. The most recent travels have brought us from South Carolina to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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© Greg & Robin Illchuk 2018-2024