Wolfdog Assisted Coaching
Several studies have been made about the use of dogs in supporting people psychologically and physically. By being around dogs and interacting with them, a person can become calmer, relaxer, happier, develop more focus, improve self-esteem and self-confidence, rise motivation levels, and the benefits go on. By petting a dog, our brain frees "well-being hormones" (like endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin) into our body, which also happens with the dog. It appears to be that every animal (us included of course) has cells which are located directly underneath the skin which can easily be activated by touch. Many of these animals (like horses, dogs, dolphins or monkeys) are also able to feel empathy, which means that they can react to emotions and mirror them.
But let's stick to dogs: differently than us, they cannot use words to communicate. In nature, it is very important to pay attention to the smallest details and change in their environment and to other members of the pack, in this way they can ensure survival.
In Coaching, this ability of communicating is essential, because they can give direct feedback to the Coach about the coachee (client). Dogs live in the moment (here and now), and do not judge, which is also why dogs have the incredible power of making people feeling more comfortable to open up (and this opening can also lead them to a personal growth); they just give pure and honest feedback about what is happening at that moment, with that person, in that environment. This makes the Coaching Sessions Assisted by Dogs (there the name "Dog Assisted Coaching) based on experiencing: experiencing the client's emotions, state and energy. When the coachee has a Coaching question, he or she are in a certain state. When they start going through the question together with the coach, this state changes. Every tiny change is very clear for the dog, and it will react upon it in its own way. This also applies for when the coachee starts to clarify his or her mind about his/her question: he/she will see how the dog reacts upon it and he/she can be able to follow and experience the changes and achievements directly and already during the session.
Wolfdogs are much closer to nature compared to ordinary dogs. They are much more sensible to body language and change of states, which is why I have chosen to coach with Wolfdogs.