“He’s been a great resource for vet and feeding and training ideas and he’s kept in regular contact to follow Cooper’s progress.”
Anyways Darcy is wonderful… and we are all loving her. British Labs are now my new favorite dog breed.
Oh, how we love those smiles!
Thank you for all your kind words. It means so much to us!Russ and LeAnn Howard
I purchased a male puppy through Timber Coulee British Labs in November of 2013. I was extremely satisfied with the way Russ communicated with me throughout the entire process of choosing the right dog for me. He is very knowledgeable and was able to answer all of my questions. I can still contact him to this day when any questions I have arise and he is always available. Drake is great in the house, he is so calm and well tempered. He’s great around children and other animals as well. When out in the field he is an avid hunter, I am so happy with my experience.Megan E.
We adopted our dog, Bentley, from Timber Coulee British Labs a year and a half ago, and I can honestly say he is one of the best dog to come into this family. Russ was very knowledgeable about this breed. His information and advice about this particular dog was completely accurate.
Since the beginning, Bentley has been such a calm, gentle, and loving dog compared to all of the others I have had in the past, which is saying something considering I have always had a dog. When the Russ first told us about the kind of dog he was, I didn’t really believe him because I knew how puppies were like, yet I was wrong. Bentley is truly a special dog.
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We adopted our British Labrador Retriever “Beau” from Russ Howard in January 2013. Although he’s not quite two years old, people are frequently surprised by his calm demeanor. We enjoyed working with Russ because he provided us with good information about the needs and attributes of a British Lab, which set an accurate expectation for us. We previously had to have our beloved 14 year old Golden Retriever put down so were skeptical of switching breeds thinking that hole in our hearts could never be filled. However, Beau quickly became a truly loved part of our family. He has just the right amount of energy for us. He likes his two-a-day walks, but does well if our schedule doesn’t allow a full blown 3 miles as long as we take him out in the yard to play for a while. He loves to run and fetch!!! He’s great in the yard, no digging, but needs to have his toys to carry around. He’s athletic and loves playing fetch with tennis balls and his Frisbee…or a football, or a soccer ball, or a basketball. He will play fetch with anything! He’s a great companion and will follow us around while doing yard work, but will also just lay at our feet when it’s time to rest. We socialized him very early. As a result he will run and play with any friendly dog, but doesn’t feel the need to stop and sniff every dog we meet on our walk. He’s got a great nose and we love to watch him run in a “grid” pattern around the yard in search of a hidden ball or toy. He has beautiful teeth and a great smile. He’s gentle with kids and will play fetch with them as well. Even if they can only throw the ball 5 feet, he fetches and returns it to their feet patiently waiting for the next throw.
He was quickly house broken, and we kenneled him only until about 6 months. We routinely leave him in a couple rooms in the house and he gets into no mischief as long as he has toys and chew bones around. He’s very smart and a good trainer himself! He taught us very quickly to not leave the remotes and shoes within his reach. This is a great dog breed for any active family who enjoys including their dog in their activities!John Bowers
Hi Russ! Maybe a little more than you were looking for but we just love these dogs. 1/29/14
I met Russ through a college friend who owned, Ace, out of a litter of Kodiak (dad) and Sedona (mom). At that time, I was getting ready to make the commitment to pet ownership. I had been “fostering” a friend’s American Lab for several months, and loved many of his (mature dog) lab qualities, but even with a nice, large, fenced-in back yard, my small suburban home felt too small for a 100+ pound dog.
Kodiak (dad) and Sedona (mom) had a litter coming due in November of 2012, so after a few discussions about British Labs with Russ, I was ready to go. I met the full litter in early November, and picked my Walter out based on his high energy and playful nature. Russ was very clear about his feeding, training and pet ownership philosophy, and gave me good advice on what to expect in the early weeks of Walter’s adjustment to his new home. In fact, he was very generous with his time throughout Walter’s first year and into the time where I decided I just had to have a second (more on that later).
What was great was the fact that once I picked Walter out, Russ and his family started using his name and I swear he came home knowing his name! He also knew to sit down and look up at me … no small thing when you’re training a puppy and quite impressive to friends and family with dogs of their own. This guy was potty trained and had no accidents after only 10 days. He came home in the dead cold of winter (January 8, 2013) and he was game for anything. I took him to a couple rounds of puppy classes and he was the star of the show; he was very friendly with other dogs, and learned fast. He now can stay in his crate for up to 8 hours if necessary, though I try to break that up with a lunch hour when I can. Behavior is good with that and no problems.
His temperament … I’ve heard this description about British Labs, and it certainly applies to both of mine … not overly dominant or aggressive, but no pushover and tons of energy when it’s appropriate. Only after getting my second dog from Russ do I feel completely comfortable in saying these dogs are smart. Walter just “gets it” and doesn’t usually have to be corrected more than once. He really wants to please. He is now 14-1/2 months old, and just about 70 pounds. Like I said, I just had to have another!
Walter is good with toys, fetch, walking, obeying, interacting with lots of people, tricks and behaviors, but the thing he loves almost more than he loves me is other dogs. Old, young, fast, slow … he adjusts to them, gets them to play … I wanted another as much for him as for me. I had a few discussions with Russ about this, and after some time had passed (not too much), I guess he figured I was ready!
Winnie was born in mid-October, 2013 out of Kodiak (dad) and Brin (mom). When I went to “meet” the puppies in early December, I had decided and told Russ that I was interested in a female this time. Also, since Walter is so intense and high energy, I was looking for someone on the other end of the spectrum this time. I met the four female puppies, and there she was! Little Winnie was happy, active, but very cuddly and affectionate, right off the bat. In fact, after I had picked her, Russ shared that the women of his household thought she was the “sweetest” and so far, everyone agrees. She came home the same as Walter … knowing her name and sitting and looking up at me, waiting for direction (not to mention the dead of winter). Winnie potty trained just a smidge slower than Walter, but she’s weeks ahead of him in learning other commands, because she just mimics his behavior (those puppy classes are really for the humans, in case you didn’t know).
It’s been great, how much everyone in my family has fallen in love with her, and she is no pushover with Walter. In fact, I would say that she’s had as much influence on him as he has had on her. He’s been great with her, and went through the early days really well. We were just saying the other night, if someone had told us how low stress this would be, we never would have believed it. She’s a little slower in crate training (mostly because Walter and I can’t stand to hear her cry), but she’s getting there.
She is currently 15 weeks old and weighs about 18 pounds. Russ said to expect that she would top out at about 50 – so Winnie and Walter together equal (in weight) that one big American Lab “friend” … much better for our home. I have followed Russ’ advice on feeding, training, healthcare, dog parks, socialization, and lots of other little details … and he has never steered me wrong. These are the best dogs I have ever met, and all my friends and family members agree. They are welcome everywhere I go, because they are so well behaved and so socialized. I’m ridiculously proud of both of them and friends and family members stand in line to “dog sit” when I have to go out of town on business. Without hesitation, I recommend Russ’ British Labs as family pets.
My brother (and house mate) and I are looking into getting them both some rudimentary bird hunting training, because it is clear from their behaviors that they are born to do it. Several of my hunter friends have begged me to just let them go out and “see what happens” (not sure about that … have to talk to Russ about it). Another family member says that Winnie would be a perfect “compassionate care” dog, so we’re going to look into that in the future, as well.
Thanks, Russ, for Winnie & Walter. I have attached some of my favorite photos. Jim Humbert Bloomington, MN
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”