Can dogs be a tool in the mediation process?

There are a number of emotional areas of the law. Mediation can be one of those processes that can be emotionally taxing, and there may be help for British Columbia residents having a tough time going through the family mediation process: having an even-tempered, tail-wagging friend in the room. Apparently, a dog can be a man, woman and child's best friend when it comes to emotional legal proceedings like mediation.

Dogs and humans have evolved together over thousands of years. Therapy dogs can have a calming effect on people who are under a lot of stress and that may mean during mediation talks. They may, in fact, be one of the best tools a lawyer or mediator can use during the mediation process. Dogs are known for reducing stress, promoting trust and enhancing communication between people, so it stands to reason they might be a good fit during mediation where these attributes are crucial.

Using therapy dogs in family law processes may help to diffuse emotionally fraught situations and to create a calm atmosphere ideal for negotiations. Dogs have a way fostering communication. It may be more difficult to become angry or to display outbursts of emotion when a calm canine is part of the equation.

There are many tools available in British Columbia for the mediation process. Adding a dog to the list may make sense in certain volatile situations. A lawyer may be able to review a client's individual case to decide whether a canine companion might help in the mediation process. 

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