Ask the Animal Communicator: I Don’t Think My Pets Like Each Other

Shannon Cutts
by Shannon Cutts

Life in an interspecies family can appear idyllic from the outside looking in. But it can be quite another story from the inside looking out! For instance, what do you do when your pet dogs just don’t get along? Who do you turn to for moderation, mediation, a restoration of family harmony? You ask the animal communicator, of course!

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Dear Shannon,


Our family loves rescuing dogs. Over the years, we have adopted many dogs from our favorite local shelter. And our dogs have always gotten along just fine….until now.


Our big (70-pound) mixed breed girl, Mollie, has always had a sweet and accepting personality towards our other rescue dogs. She is a great family watchdog and was very protective of our kids when they were little. But now Mollie is getting older and is more sedentary, so when a litter of new puppies was recently rescued to the shelter, we felt like we had the time and energy required to take in a puppy. Our new little girl, Bella, is a real handful – the shelter staff think she has a lot of Jack Russell Terrier in her and we agree. It’s been a bit crazy to be honest – we even have baby gates and puppy-proof locks everywhere around the house to keep her out of trouble!


While we just love Bella, Mollie hasn’t been so welcoming. I’ve never seen Mollie snap at anyone or anything until Bella arrived. Bella is fascinated with Mollie and is always wanting to snuggle and play together but Mollie won’t have anything to do with her. I’m worried we may have to return Bella or risk Mollie getting aggressive with her.


Can you help us figure out how to help the two of them get along?


A worried dog mom,




Shannon’s reply:

Hi Carla,

Thank you for sharing what is going on in your interspecies family. The more we learn about non-human animal relationships, the more we discover that dogs, like people, often prefer to choose their own friends.

This doesn’t mean two dogs can’t develop a friendship over time, even if they didn’t get along at first. This is especially the case when the reason the two dogs don’t get along has more to do with their individual needs or life stages than with any lack of friendship “chemistry” between them.

I am not a dog trainer or dog behaviorist, and these types of services can often be helpful in sorting out situations like what you are experiencing. As an animal communicator, I bring a different skillset, which is an ability to directly ask Mollie and Bella what they need to live peacefully together as members of your family.

When I tune in with Bella, what I receive is exactly the energy you describe – playful, bouncy, upbeat, let’s be friends energy. She is keen to fit in, eager to bond and so, so grateful to have a home. Bella shares that she misses her mom and littermates and sees Mollie as a source of canine comfort in her chaotic life to date. Bella also shares that she sees Mollie’s rebuffs as a game. In other words, she doesn’t take Mollie’s refusal to engage seriously which is why she just keeps on trying.

When I tune in with Mollie, her energy is completely different than Bella’s – reserved, calm, self-contained. Mollie tells me that she is the family matriarch. She keeps the order in your family and – even more importantly – the peace. Mollie tells me she wishes she had been consulted before the decision was made to adopt Bella. She also tells me she is worried that Bella is her “replacement” and that she doesn’t think Bella has the right skillset to do a good job guarding and protecting your family.

You might think that all this doesn’t bode well for Bella to stay with your family. But there is one thing I shared with Mollie that she wasn’t aware of that I think may tip the scales in Bella’s favor. Mollie didn’t know that Bella is motherless. She didn’t understand why you adopted Bella – that you took her in because Bella was abandoned as a puppy and didn’t have a home or a family.

When I shared this information with Mollie, I could literally feel her irritation downshift into compassion. I asked Mollie if she would be willing to make more of an effort to mother Bella, teach her the ropes of being a family dog, play with her and also instill some discipline.  And Mollie told me she is willing to do this.

The more I do this work of interspecies communication, the more I realize how our companion animals see more than we think they see and know more than we realize they know. But often they still don’t have the complete picture of why we do what we do. And because we don’t realize how much they see and know, we rarely stop and take time to consider the bigger picture of how our actions and choices alter their lives.

Mollie asks that, in the future, could you please let her know if you are planning any other big additions or changes to your family? She wants to be in the know and to be consulted about these important decisions. Bella just wants to say thank you for adopting her. She says her high energy is one part gratitude and one part relief that she finally has a forever home.

Carla, I hope this information is beneficial for you and your family. Please keep in touch and let me know how the relationship between Mollie and Bella unfolds.

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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