Trailrunners exists to produce and strengthen healthy dogs whose purpose is to serve.
The Original Trailrunner
A runner of trails. In tribes and peoples throughout human history a rare, exceptional person called a "trailrunner" was chosen for having speed, stamina, and integrity. These amazing individuals carried news to another village, sometimes even at incredible distances, when the only roads were trails. We named our registered Canadian Kennel Club name “Trailrunners” in honour of the original trailrunners. Why? In our bloodlines we look for speed and stamina, and intelligence. We choose to work with integrity and excellence as we breed and train our dogs to become great companions as well as work in many professions across Canada and throughout the world.
Our Breeding Standards
Many Labradors today are actually bred to not retrieve and just be “couch potatoes”, but not ours! A Trailrunners lab has speed, stamina and intelligence. There is only a very small percentage of pure “working line labs” being bred today. Every lab we breed here has “Trailrunners” as part of the registered name and they live up to their name. Please see the testimonials of our “Satisfied Owners”. Many Trailrunners puppy owners send their dogs back to our Training Center, for training. We love to train all dogs and especially those from our own breeding.
Hunting and Hunt Test Titles
At Trailrunners we don’t breed a dog, no matter how great the sire and dam were, unless they have a working title. We run them in CKC sanctioned hunt tests, and obtain titles such as Junior Hunt, to Master Hunt, plus obtain other certifications such as Working Certificates and certified detection work. We have been developing our bloodlines carefully so that we have as many high quality, proven and titled working dogs as possible in the background of every pup/dog. We also hunt our dogs during hunting season for waterfowl and upland birds and are thrilled to see their natural passion and retrieval drive at work.
Trailrunners has worked for years to develop Labradors that are calm with people, but high energy when they work. This is more than an ideal, it is an actual temperament trait that we have worked to build into every Trailrunners pup. We call these "on/off dogs". Trailrunners labs vary in size. 50-60 pound females that are quick and agile up to 80 pound dogs that can retrieve a heavy goose.
Black, Chocolate, Yellow (white to fox red). We breed all 3 registered colors of Labrador Retrievers. Our dogs are not bred specifically or intentionally for color because that focus as a breeder can weaken the workability of the dog. We also do not recommend or breed “silver” or “charcoal” labs.
Healthy Beyond Skin Deep
Health-wise, all dogs are certified OFA Good or Excellent in hips, OFA normal elbows and eyes are CERF clear and EIC clear, with documentation to prove this. We feed 100% raw WHOLE PREY diet (nature's way) for longevity and superb disease resistance. Moms produce healthier pups and pups are calmer on this diet when mom eats this food. We have tried many high end (cooked, dry) dog foods and none compare to a (balanced and complete) raw food diet. Allergies disappear, teeth are clean, and "end cleanup" is minimized. We have proven that dogs fed this way over generations are virtually resistant to common dog killers like cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Born and raised in our home
Raising puppies in this environment is a lot of work. It is easy to birth a puppy in the house and then let them live outside in a barn where they go to the bathroom, "whenever". Our pups are born and live in our home until they go to your home. Keeping the floor clean in a house is learned as they are paper-trained and then learn to go to the bathroom outside through a dog door. That means LOTS of cleaning. The pups go to your home already very accustomed to a clean environment with human noises and lots of human interaction. They are given their first vaccine are de-wormed, are CKC registered, tattooed and are guaranteed for 26 months free of hip and eye disorders.
Trailrunners dogs have been working in Canada for over 20 years now and have been filling our mission statement of serving and benefitting humankind. Trailrunners was home to Canada’s first team of Cancer Detecting Labradors working for a medical foundation out of Calgary for 6 years. Our dogs have been working for many years for Calgary City police as cadaver, and explosive dogs, as well as the RCMP, Corrections Canada and private detection businesses. We are seeing the dogs do amazing work in this field.
Chris and Fran Oudshoorn, full time managers, breeders and trainers have had a lot of help over the years to develop this business thanks to the dedication of their 2 children, Caleb and Phoebe. Caleb has been joined by Judah to provide Calgary with a Trailrunners presence. We also have wonderful staff who help care for the dogs and puppies by cleaning, feeding, ”scooping”, fixing, dog training, marketing and building and improving our awesome facilities which we want to share with our Trailrunners family.
Trailrunners has an 8000 square foot multi-faceted premise that serves to house, feed, and train ours and our clients dogs. It is meticulously clean and built specifically with the dogs ultimate comfort and safety in mind. There are a variety of yards and play areas for the the dogs outdoors, tastefully built on an incredibly beautiful lakefront setting. In addition we have training areas and ponds specifically designed for retriever training. Trailrunners has a gorgeous fieldstone guest house with suites for out of town clients, as well as cabins and areas for campers, guests, and their dogs.
Many ask us if our labs are American or British. We say, Canadian! Over more than 20 years we have sought out genetically sound, registered working Labradors from AKC (American) UKC (British) and even JKC (Japanese). Our dogs are not bred for color or show. They are bred for speed, stamina and intelligence.
If you have an active lifestyle and are interested in a Canadian working Labrador Retriever to assist you in hunting for birds, working as a detection dog or just as a great companion to run with you or enjoy the great outdoors, then we would be happy to speak with you regarding caring for one of our pups or trained adult dogs. Please remember that we screen every inquiry/home for every dog/ pup that we have. Our dogs are bred to serve humankind and we evaluate each pup to go to the home best suited for their needs.
What our clients say
I had the great honour to purchase "BLUE". My life was so empty and with my husband working away from home for weeks at a time, he was concerned with leaving me alone.
Then one dark night I somehow came across Blue's picture. He was originally trained to work with an Autistic child. When I saw Blue I instantly knew that he was meant to be mine. Having no two legged children, Mother's Day 2013 is a day I will never forget.
I want you to know that he is everything I could wish a dog to be. I never wanted to leave the house before, but since he has come into my life we go for long walks daily. Last February I fell at the dog park and I tore my rotator cuff. I needed to steady myself on him to get up, and he stood still to let me lean against him. I put my scarf around his chest and he helped me back to the vehicle.
Blue is turning 9 in September and when he sees me putting on my jacket or picking up the car keys he is standing by my side waiting to see what is next. At the park people comment on how happy he looks but they don't notice my big smile....he is just smiling back at me!
He's grown up into the nicest dog! We passed our CGN (Canine Good Neigbour) in June...right after Rory was Best Dog at our Wedding. We did some Hunt Retriever training this Spring and he took to it right away. I ran out of time, much to Rory's disappointment. We're orientating at Alberta Hospital right now to start volunteering with the Animal Assisted Therapy program. November 1st we're starting Agility. And if we get enough snow this winter I really would like to try skijoring with him.
He has the best personality! He doesn't know how to quit on any task you give him. In the house though he's been named Snuggle-Pup-icus.
Burton - "Search and Rescue dog"
"We are extremely happy with Burton. Everyone that meets him says he his a good looking dog and well behaved. By the age of three months he mastered his basic obedience and we have been tracking with him now. He has completed 27 tracks and we are increasing the length of the track and the age. Burton also has enjoyed a couple of hikes this summer- he has made it up to two summits around 7000ft each. We are extremely pleased with your Trailrunner Lab. He is growing like a weed (building muscle) and getting smarter everyday. He does not get into many things that he is not supposed too.
Gordon, Lethbridge, AB
Just sending you an update on Laura. She is such an amazing dog. She is so gentle with our young boys as well as any other children she meets. She loves to play fetch, and she often puts on the show in our neighborhood by retrieving the ball for each and every child. She is patient, smart, and extremely gentle. We have ran into a few strangers in the Calgary area who have asked us if she was a Trailrunners lab, as they recognize her facial features (I thought that was neat). You guys definitely have an extremely positive reputation, so keep up the great work!
Jack is more of a dog than I could have imagined. He is as focused as a young male puppy can be. Obedience training is going smoothly and quicker than I thought it would. He is impressive! We get nothing but compliments on his looks and demeanour! Early hunting training is going very well, Jack fetches fun bumpers on routine and he now waits for a release command. We've begun scent training too and he is constantly using his nose. He's now almost 5.5 months and is just over 40 lbs. Thank-you again for everything.
I was sitting here thinking how much our family loves Rang and can't imagine our lives without him. So I thought I would send you a few pictures and say hello!
Summer is such a blast with Rang at the lake, he has a great time! When we are at the beach he gets unsettled when he can’t see them, or if they are out too far in the water, we swims out to them almost like he is checking on them and then comes back. The boys love him and I know he loves the boys.
He loves going in the boat and is very well behaved! We get so many compliments on how well behaved he is and how good looking he is! He does lots of hiking and biking with us along with some much loved water time! We truly love him to bits! Thanks to you, we have a dog who most people only dream of having! He is the perfect family pet!
Michele, Andy, Mitchell, Thomas & Kiesman
Hey Fran, just an update on Angus. What an amazing addition to our family. He is well mannered and very obedient. I have taken him bird hunting several times and he is one of the best bird dogs I have ever seen. Nolan just loves him he is the best energy for our family. Nolan and Angus both hang out all the time, Nolan gets a face wash everyday in the morning from his buddy. Thank you for this joy. We would like to add another one of your pups to our family.
We thought we would let you know how Cooper is doing. He is now 6 months old and we can't believe how much he has grown. He has adjusted well to his new home and slept through the night in his crate right from the start. He spends most of his time at the cottage on Shebandowan Lake and loves his freedom to roam on our property. His sister Reba lives just down from us and he enjoys their get togethers. But his daily companion is our son's three year old lab Blaze. They are together and inseparable! Cooper is loved by everyone he meets and is complimented on his good looks which I believe comes from his father Roary. He went bird hunting and was very proud of his first retrieval! In time I think he will be an indispensable hunting partner. He is a great addition to our family, and we are so glad that we chose Trailrunners as our breeder.
Len, Christine & Cooper
We have one of Gideon and Brit's puppies, Trailrunners Dawson has been an energizer bunny since we got him. He has an off switch, thankfully. Thought you might like to see some pictures of him as an adult. He is 60lb and full of fun and energy. He and I do a lot of agility and he loves it. His retrieving abilities are fantastic. If I was a bird hunter, he would do very well. He loves!!! to swim. I need to watch him or he'll swim until he drowns and retrieve until he drops. We will be adding to our furry household at some point in the next year or so. I will contact you with my wish list.
Kathy Ellert, Cochrane, AB