Dog Bite Safety Education

Watch a short video about the program and learn “How To Speak Dog” Schedule a consultation with your local DogSmith who can deliver this presentation to your family, your school or other group.


The Be a Tree program is a dog bite prevention seminar program for school-age children. This program focuses on fun and interactive activities to teach children how to read dog body language and how to act safely around both their own dog and strange dogs.



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The Be a Tree program is supported by a teacher kit that presenters use to ensure a consistent and accurate presentation. The program and the kit have been developed and reviewed by experts and are designed for use by classroom teachers and presenters. 

Half of all kids are bitten by a dog by the time they are 12 years old.   A good percentage of these bites are from a dog the child knows.  join our growing list of Be a Tree Presenters and help educate your local community

The program is designed to be delivered either through a computer, laptop or projector or through posters and interactive activities. 


The Be a Tree program  is featured in this new book by Niki Tudge called A Kids Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog. A much welcomed resource for families to use. 


Did You Know?

  • Half of all children bitten by dogs are under the age of 12.
  • Most dog bites are by the family dog or dogs known to the person.
  • Most dog bites are preventable.
  • A dog bite can happen very quickly. There are numerous reasons why dogs bite. For example, the dog may be unsure of the situation, want space, feel scared or threatened, be protecting his food or toys, be feeling ill or be in pain.

Safety is paramount for both children and dogs and by following a few tips you can reduce the likelihood of these unfortunate incidents. Most importantly, never put children and dogs in a situation where their safety is in question.

  • Be aware of the potential dangers – even if it is the family dog.
  • Be responsible – provide active supervision at all times.
  • Be aware that even supervision does not guarantee a child will not get bitten. Dogs move very quickly and there may not always be time to intervene, even if you are watching closely for signals.
  • Educate yourself and others in reading canine body language so you know when to give the dog space.

Invite Your Local DogSmith To Present The “Be a Tree” Program

The Be a Tree program is a dog bite prevention seminar program for school age children. This program focuses on fun and interactive activities to teach children how to read dog body language and how to act safely around their own dog and strange dogs. ( Doggone Safe discourages presenters from bringing live dogs into the classroom)


Why “Be a Tree”?

“Be a Tree” is a simple phrase that means so much in the right context. Dogs react to
movement, noise and eye contact. If you are feeling threatened or unsure around a dog then
keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid running and screaming.
  • Avoid eye contact – this can be seen as a threat by a dog. Lower your chin to your
  • chest so as not to expose your face or neck and look to the ground.
  • Stand very still with your arms folded and your feet rooted to the ground – this reduces
  • the risk of the dog chasing or attacking.
  • Be quiet – this reduces the risk of over-exciting the dog. Screaming and shouting
  • can escalate the dog’s reaction.

By doing these things the dog is more likely to sniff at you then walk away. The more boring
you become, the less interest the dog will have in you.

But What Happens if a Dog Knocks You Over?

  • “Be a Rock”
  • Roll yourself into a tight ball on your knees.
  • Clasp your arms around the back of your neck.
  • Stay there and do not move.

Again, try to be as boring and quiet as you can. Remain in the Tree or Rock position until someone comes to help or you are sure the dog has moved away. If you ever feel afraid, do not be embarrassed to ask for help. If you see a dog that is loose, ask the owner to put him on a leash. Never stare at a dog and never approach one that is tied up outside a shop or in a yard.
Learning to read and understand canine body language combined with knowing how to act safely around dogs empowers you with a knowledge that can benefit people of all ages and help them make safe decisions.