12/02/2014 02:52 EST | Updated 02/01/2015 05:59 EST

Trauma dog helps Calgary girl testify at sex assault trial against father

There was a Canadian first in a Calgary courtroom Tuesday as a trauma dog helped a young alleged sexual assault victim as she testified in a criminal trial.

The seven-year-old girl’s father is charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement against the child and his wife.

Visible on a screen in the courtroom, the small blond child sat in a remote witness room beside Hawk, a three-year-old Labrador retriever, specially trained to work as a trauma dog in the victim assistance unit of the Calgary Police Service.

Hawk helps support witnesses and victims of crime, especially children.

During Tuesday morning’s proceedings, the girl and the courtroom were shown a video of a police detective interviewing her about the alleged crime.

The trial is set to wrap up at the end of the week. 

As the girl watched the video she patted the dog at times, and at other times showed the typical restlessness of a little girl.

The girl’s father watched the video from the prisoner’s box showing little reaction.