The following is what a few of our recent participants have said
about the course and their experience.

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Good Morning Jim and Team,

I just wanted to say that I was incredibly impressed with the training provided during my 5 day stint at your facility taking the Advanced Apprehension, Handling and Self Defense Level 2 Course. I walked away with a new understanding of the psychological and emotional approach to animal control. Learning to do our job with the perspective of the dog in mind, I think is an invaluable tool that I had not considered to such a degree. This course has provided me with more confidence than I had before when approaching animal control calls, especially with regards to the “aggressive” dog reports. It was an absolute honour to have the opportunity to learn from you and your staff and to be able to take on techniques and knowledge that have been tried and proven numerous times. I think your course should be an essential part of any Officer’s training that may have animal control as part of their responsibilities, or who may encounter animals in an enforcement capacity at some point. To yourself and the staff (and dogs) at ETA thank you!

Ryan M. Alice

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I recently took the ADVANCED APPREHENSION, HANDLING & SELF DEFENSE: Level 2 course in Stony Plain, Alberta. I went into the week long course with almost zero working knowledge & experience pertaining to dog behaviour and handling.

The course was a great balance of in-class and hands-on training. The mornings were spent reviewing detailed course material, working through realistic scenarios, and watching instructional videos, while the afternoons were spent putting that information in to practice with dogs from the pound. Almost immediately my own comfort level and confidence grew.

Our instructor, Jim Deboon, did a great job of making the course entertaining and relevant to the communities that we each worked in. With over 30 years in the business, Jim was able to draw from his own personal experience in the field, and whether with a skittish dog, or a volatile owner, he’s seen and done it all, and does a great job at teaching the ‘do’s & don’ts’ of animal control.

His passion for animals and enthusiasm teaching were evident from day one.

I recommend this in-depth course to you, regardless of your skill set with animals. I’ve put what I’ve learned into practice, and I feel safe & confident on the job regardless of the situation.


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Thank you for sending me your newsletter.

I took your course in Merritt a couple of years ago. As of April, I resigned from the Town of Gibsons and am no longer a Bylaw Officer or Dog Control Officer. That being said, I hope you will continue to keep me on your mailing list.

I have used your techniques and can report that I have never lost a dog nor have I ever been bitten or even attacked … sometimes by what was reported as extremely aggressive dogs. On one occasion when I was no longer working for the Town, neighbours asked me to apprehend a loose boxer that had a bad reputation in the neighbourhood. Using your techniques I just exposed myself to the dog so she could see me and walked over to her yard and opened the gate and lay down just inside the gate. Everyone said that no one could take this dog and that if she found me in her yard she was likely to attack. In about 2 minutes, the dog approached very cautiously walking back and forth until she entered the gate … I watched her just walk up to me and look down at my chest. She sniffed and pawed at me … I guess to see if I was alive and I chucked her chin. She just stood there as I took her collar. I always keep a short leash with me in my back pocket. I had it in my hand. I can’t use your belt approach, because if I remove my belt I am likely to be left with my pants around my ankles. Such is the bane of being a wide-body model. I slipped my leash over her head and she didn’t even flinch … She was my friend and companion after that. I stood up, closed the gate between us and slipped the leash off. End of story.

The owner has contacted me to say that besides him, no-one can handle his dog. I suggested he find a good trainer to teach him how. I don’t know if he took me up on it or not.

Please keep me on your mailing list.

Thank you for the consideration and for teaching me the most valuable lessons in dog apprehension.

R. J. (Ron) Joyce
Retired Enforcement Officer

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I was apprehensive going into the level 2 course because I don’t like dogs and they don’t like me. I have been in Law Enforcement since 1984, and Animal Control was never something that I had to do before.

What I learned from the course was invaluable, as it helped me adjust my attitude about dogs and how to approach and deal with them. A lot of my problem was my own fear of dogs and how they can read that, then they would react accordingly. With Jim’s careful instruction and guidance, I now feel a whole lot more confident when having to deal with dogs. Animal Control calls make up less than 10% of my duties, but I now go to those calls without fear.

The “Leash Lift” training, and “Protecting Yourself from Bites While Loading” techniques, worked two days after I came back from the course. I had a couple of old farm dogs surrendered by the elderly owner. The dogs loaded fine into my truck, but when I went to take the older one out of my kennel he freaked out. Using the behind the head leash control and lift that I was taught, I got the dog out and down without injury to myself or to the dog.

I have already recommended the course.

Brian Byrnell
Community Peace Officer
Westlock County Enforcement

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Greetings Jim,

Well back to BC and work!!! The course was great, just telling the staff about it today in hopes that you will see some more of our staff out there soon for level 2 training! I enjoyed all aspects of the training and have come away with several skills to take into the field with me.

Thanks again,
Tracy Seille
Animal Control Officer
District of Squamish

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I am going to have to admit that coming to the course I was a bit sceptical on what I would learn. As a County Peace Officer, animal control duties are definitely not my favourite part of the job. However, Jim taught me some extremely helpful techniques that I have already used and found quite useful. His course has lots of video from actual animal encounters that relate to situations that I have been in and I got to see how his techniques worked out. I have already noticed that I am not as reluctant to deal with the aggressive dogs because I have the confidence and knowledge to avoid a bad situation. Upon returning to my County, my supervisor wanted me to explain what I learned and give a run down to the other officers but I suggested that he just put them through the course. It was well presented.

Thanks Jim.

Brad Semeniuk
Community Peace Officer
Lac La Biche County

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I would highly recommend the Level 2 course to any person who handles animals in the enforcement or animal control field. This course provides an excellent balance between; theory, classroom activities, videos and most important it is one of the very few courses that provides hands on training with live animals.

This course taught me how to approach animals in a non-threatening way and provided the skills to properly use apprehension equipment successfully, without causing injury or too much stress on the animal. I am able to do my job while maintaining public and officer safety issues foremost, but dealing with the animals with appropriately as well.

As fate would have it, my first animal call after taking this course happened to be with a young mature intact male Pit Bull with an attitude. This dog was trapped inside a building and it was obvious that he did not want to be there or to be apprehended. I applied my training and used a snare pole to successfully apprehend the dog. I was able to calm the dog down after the fact and when I went to transfer him to the animal control shelter, I was able to walk him in on a leash. This is largely due to the confidence and training I received at the Enforcement Training Academy Level 2 course.

Terry G Jordan
Community Peace Officer
Athabasca County Enforcement Services

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I wanted to follow up and let you know that I really enjoyed the course and have to say it has been some time since I have enjoyed a day of training to this degree. I thought that your course design and the material was excellent and delivered with an expert balance of information, enthusiasm and entertainment. I love the fact that you remain a student with an open mind and designed the course around your years of experience.

You kept it simple, practical and relevant to what we do in the field and were able to provide practical tactics to difficult or dangerous canine encounters. I also thought the video footage was an excellent tool to solidify your philosophies and teachings. I would not change a thing.

The feedback I have received from our Staff has been amazing! Everyone, including some of our more senior staff loved the course! And you can take it from me, this is very high praise.

I wish you continued success with the Enforcement Training Academy.


Linda Dent
Public Education Officer
Mississauga Animal Services

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I found your training course excellent. JIM is an excellent presenter, and the information I garnered from the class I have already used with unbelievable results. I wish to thank you for making me a better officer. Although I had to leave just prior to the completion of the course, it has been the most effective training I have had to date in enforcement. Thank you Jim, I greatly appreciated you as a person, and I am grateful for the tools you bestowed upon me.

Tim Smoch
Bylaw Enforcement Officer #59
City of Kamloops, BC

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Just wanted to thank you for the great knowledge that was passed on from the Enforcement Training course. Within a week of taking the course I came across lost and skidish dog. I went to approach the dog and I noticed his posture changed, and he looked like he was going to run. So I sat down on some driveway face in a different direction than the dog and started talking. Within 30 seconds the dog had a new friend! About a minute after, I had the dog coming to me. Thanks again for the training.

Stephen Pratt
Bylaw Enforcement Officer
City Of North Vancouver, BC

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I am so excited to tell you that after your class I went home to see my neighbours dog “at large again”. This dog has a great temperament but when he gets loose he is almost impossible to catch. I first tried calling him but he was not interested in “talking with me” so I thought of your second step of Ignoring him, I followed him across the street and sat down on the curb just acting casual, within 5 seconds of sitting down he came right over to me. I could not believe how quickly your technique worked. Your ideas are great, they work and they make perfect sense. Thanks again for a very interesting day, I really learned a lot and look forward to trying all the techniques that you showed us.

Elizabeth Bigg
Parking Control Officer
City of Kamloops, BC

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I really enjoyed the session, Jim made it fun, relaxing and enjoyable, and even though I’ve done animal control for five years now, I still learned a lot. It was easy to forget I was in a course, and the videos and stories were a great help too. Jim is an excellent instructor, showing that there is more than one way to do our job, and sometimes patience is our best tool.

Kendyl Hudson
Peace Officer – Parkland County Patrol
Stony Plain, AB

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I only hear good things about the course you hosted. The information was helpful and she (my employee) really enjoyed the day. There wasn’t a boring moment, and she really liked you as a speaker. I thought I would let you know. For sure I will be at the next course! !

Martine Veenhoven Huyssoon
Kennel Owner – Old MacDonald Kennels
Red Deer, AB

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I thought the course was very helpful and useful. I had to use the skills and techniques taught the very next day. I had a call about a German Sheppard Dog and 4 of her pups at large. I located the dogs, where a young man was chasing them when I arrived. I asked him not to chase the dogs (he also grabbed 2 of the pups in his chase), the mother dog snapped at him and was growling. I proceeded to confine them into a fenced yard and asked the young man to bring back the 2 pups because the mother was nervous and upset. He brought the other 2 back and the mother dog seemed to calm down and not be so excitable. I then proceeded to gain the mother dog’s trust by bending down and ignoring her pups. She eventually came to me where I could leash her (and of course the pups followed). The skills and techniques Jim taught us worked. I was very happy and proud of myself regarding this incident and owe it all to Jim and his wonderful teaching and instructing. I now have more confidence in myself to handle dogs. THANK YOU JIM!!!

Tracey Struz
Bylaw Enforcement Officer
Camrose, AB

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Alan and I learned so much at your course. We discussed it on the drive home and we loved it, we especially liked the video clips. It was easier to understand what to do when we saw it played out on the videos. We thought a few more dog attacks or biting videos would be nice though, to see the reaction of the dogs and what not to do, and to see the attitude of the dogs before (ears, stance, etc.).

It was nice to not have much theory. I personally find that I learn better from someone who’s been there and done it, rather than someone who is just reading from a book.

All in all, we came out of the course 100 times more knowledgeable than when we went in, and can’t wait for the 5 day Level 2 course! We will be there!!!

Thanks again,
Kim Goldhawk
Bylaw Compliance Services
High River, AB

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Unsure of what I was getting myself into, I decided to take the Level 1 Advanced apprehension & handling course offered by the Enforcement Training Academy, in Red Deer.

After arriving, I was pleased to find out that our instructor had over 20years experience of apprehending and handling stray dogs. This was useful knowledge and I gained at least 2 years of knowledge in one day. I had never taken a law enforcement animal handling course, and was grateful to find it informative.

The food offered was delicious; our instructor was pleasant, cheerful, and excited to teach the course to some rookies. Not only did we get dog handling/apprehending experience, we were able to be involved in role play scenarios.

I recommend this course to officers and public employees who may deal with stray or dangerous dogs in the course of their employment.

Shane Ashdown
Municipal Enforcement Officer
Town of Vermilion
, AB

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I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and your staff on the Advanced Apprehension & Handling course. The course was educational, and we learned some very useful tools to assist us in the safety of ourselves as Animal Control Officers, and the animals we apprehend. Aside from being educational, it was a very fun day! You have a super way to present the information! The facility was fantastic, and the lunch that was provided was terrific!

Great Job!

Karey Loftus
Community Peace Officer
City of Wetaskiwin
, AB

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Real good course in general. For a lot of the morning portion I would not have known it was an Animal Control course. Personally, I learned a bunch of new info and tips that will be used in the field when on ACO duties.

Jim has solid experience, backed up by quality recorded videos that prove it’s worth and provide the empirical evidence to support his techniques.

He wasn’t warm and fuzzy, and never sugar-coated the truth about certain situations. IE: Dog attacks and self defence.

The portion that the average ACO should have gained the most info on is the reality of knowing and being aware/alert of the environment. Followed-up by explaining one’s options based on worst case situations. Because Jim is an ACO, the persons attending the course may be more inclined to listen rather than dismiss him as another hard ass “wanna be” cop, teaching use of force related stuff. This portion of Jim’s course alone is superior to what we are currently receiving for our use of force training. Every piece of info Jim shared was followed by his own personal experiences of which be learned from.

Bottom line, I have walked away with more knowledge.

Barrie Bude
Bylaw Enforcement Services
Capital Regional District
, AB