Creature Good Dog Training has partnered with Doggone Safe to offer families, groups, schools, businesses and communities Doggone Safe’s signature Dog Bite Prevention Programs

Doggone Safe is a non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education and dog bite victim support. Creature Good Dog Training owner, Ruth Hegarty, Doggone Safe member and certified Dog Bite Safety Educator, now offers dog bite prevention seminars, including Doggone Safe’s signature children’s education program, “Be a Tree.” In person programs are available in the greater Boston area and “virtual” programs are available as well.

The “Be a Tree” program is an innovative and interactive dog bite prevention education program aimed at primary grade children. Half of all children are bitten by a dog by the time they are 12 years old. Dog bites are now considered a serious public health problem by the American Veterinary Medical Association and by the Canada Safety Council. Most bites are from the family dog or other dog known to the child and can be prevented through education. Both children and adults can benefit from understanding dog body language and knowing how to act in situations involving dogs.

Each program explains the signs to watch for in a dog who may bite, how to safely approach a dog (and know when you shouldn’t), what to do if approached by a strange dog to minimize your chances of being bit and how to more accurately read dog body language so that you and your family stay safe at home and while out.

Programs can be branded with a sponsor’s logo to allow local companies to become involved with community dog bite prevention.

In the “Be A Tree” program, children learn to read dog body language and how to act safely around dogs in a fun and interactive way. The Be a Tree program is unique in its use of several different teaching strategies, its focus on physical activity and its emphasis on positive messages. Instead of telling children “don’t do this and don’t do that,” the Be a Tree program empowers them with the knowledge they need to make safe decisions based on the body language and the actions of the dog and the situation at hand. The central message of the program is “Be a Tree” (stand still and quiet and don’t look at the dog) if a strange dog approaches or any dog is causing concern or becoming too frisky.

“Experts agree that public education has an important role to play in reducing dog bite risk to children, and the Be a Tree program is one of the ways Doggone Safe is contributing,” said Joan Orr, president of Doggone Safe.

Doggone Safe is well regarded in the humane education community and all materials were created and reviewed by experts. The Be a Tree program is endorsed by The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) and Doggone Safe bite prevention educational materials are used in the programs of many humane societies and by dog bite prevention educators across the US and Canada.

The Be a Tree program is available in Cambridge, MA, and surrounding areas through Ruth Hegarty of Creature Good Dog Training. Ms. Hegarty is an expert in dog communication and training and offers group and private dog training and consulting services as well as the Doggone Safe education programs.

For information about booking or sponsoring these educational programs Be a Tree™ (for school-aged children), Be Doggone Smart at Work™ (for workers who come into contact with dogs on the job) and Dog Bite Safety for Adults and Families – please contact Ruth Hegarty at 617-821-1895 or email

For additional information about Doggone Safe or to get information about becoming a Be a Tree program sponsor please visit the Doggone Safe website at, call 1-877-350-3232 or email