Ask the Animal Communicator - Family Friction

Shannon Cutts
by Shannon Cutts

Why can’t we all just get along? As pet parents, we wish it was so simple, but sometimes it just isn’t. Interdog aggression is one of the most common reasons why pet dogs are relinquished. What can you do when everything you’ve already tried to help two dogs get along fails? You ask the animal communicator, of course!

Dear Shannon,


We’ve always been a “one dog” family. But recently our youngest child left for college. Both of us work outside the home. And so our nine-year-old Corgi, Howie, is left at home alone all day. We were worried he would get too lonely so we decided to get him a second dog for a friend. Howie and Victor, our new six-year-old dog (the rescue staff thinks he is mix of Terrier and Chihuahua) seemed to like each other just fine when we introduced them at the shelter. Now that they are home together….well, not so much. Sometimes they play but we have to watch them constantly to be sure Howie doesn’t get too aggressive – he even bit Victor once when I wasn’t watching them. I don’t think they like each other and I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid we’re going to have to take Victor back to the shelter. Help!




Pea, Victor and unhappy Howie


Dear Pea,


Oh boy. Yup. I can see why you’ve been so worried. Your heart for Howie and Victor shines through and it is so clear to me you want to do the right thing by both of your fur boys. So let’s get to it and see what we can do to ease the stress between Howie and Victor, ok?


The first thing to know is that both Howie and Victor are definitely using their behavior to communicate with each other and with you. In a weird way (if we can set aside species differences for a moment) what you are experiencing right now in your family isn’t so unlike how two human family members might argue and fight for any number of reasons.


Here, what we need to do first is find out why. Get to the root of what Howie and Victor are arguing about. And then have an open and honest conversation about how to fix it.


Luckily, as an animal communicator, this is exactly what I do. Just a little context – I’m not a pet trainer, not an animal behaviorist – rather, I use a different set of language skills to communicate with all species. In this case, it means I can talk to pets using all of my senses and receive their replies in the same way.


I decided to tune in with Howie first, since he is the senior of the two in every way. The moment I connected with Howie, what I felt was extreme anxiety. Like – serious stress. I asked Howie what is causing him so much anxiety and I heard the words “Not enough.” I wanted to make sure I was understanding Howie’s concern, so I asked him, “Are you anxious because you think Pea isn’t happy with just you for a pet dog?” The next thing I felt was a flood of sadness. And an inner “click” in my gut that I’ve come to understand as an intuitive yes. I also asked Howie how he feels about Victor. I got back the emotional equivalent of a shoulder shrug – essentially, a neutral feeling.


Next, I tuned in with Victor. I asked Victor if he knew why Howie was behaving aggressively towards him. I got a wave of sadness and the words “nobody likes me” set to the tune of the children’s song “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms.” Then I got a picture of the sad and perpetually pessimistic Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. 


What this shows me is that we’ve basically got a family-wide misunderstanding going on. Howie thinks he isn’t enough dog for you. You are worried you aren’t enough family for Howie. Victor thinks he isn't enough, period. AND you are worried Howie and Victor don’t like each other. Can you see how all of you are basically worried about the same exact thing? 

The good news is, now that we know what the problem is, we can move on to the next step – resolving the conflict for everyone.


I started this process by reconnecting with Howie to explain that you got Victor for HIM, because you were worried you weren’t giving him enough attention during the day and he would be lonely. It took a minute for the message to sink in, but the next emotion I felt coming from Howie was another flood, this time one of relief. A letting go of long-held deep fear and heartache. And the image of a sun rising over a new day paired with a trio of very strong feelings: relief, love and hope.


I asked Howie if he might like to play with Victor and hang out together while you and your partner are gone during the day at work. I sent Howie an image of he and Victor playing together at tug-of-war, chasing balls and playing with other fun dog toys.  I asked him, “Do you think Victor could be a fun new friend?” The response I got from Howie was one of curiosity and interest! This is a very good sign.


I then went through the exact same sequence with Victor. When I showed Victor the image of him and Howie playing together, the emotion Victor sent back to me was of so much gratitude – like I want to type GRATITUDE because it was so strong. Victor just wants to have a forever family. He really wants to stay with you and Howie.


Pea, I truly hope this helps. I would watch for a positive shift in Howie and Victor’s interactions starting now. I know it can seem like such a drastic situation when two pets can’t get along. But often we just need to sit down and have a chat. And thankfully animal communication is the perfect choice to help with that! So thank you for allowing me to be a part of that process for you. Please do keep me posted and let me know how it goes with you and Howie and Victor.


From my heart,


Shannon Cutts
Shannon Cutts

Shannon Cutts is an intuitive animal communicator and Reiki master practitioner with Animal Love Languages. Shannon works through the universal love language of all species to connect with her pet clients – deep listening. Deep listening activates empathy, allowing Shannon to literally feel what an animal is feeling, listen in to their thoughts, experience what they are experiencing and then relay all of that information to the pet parent. Visit Shannon at

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