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
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!
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