How to get your puppy ready for your new arrival.

This post was originally published on the 8th January 2014 just before Charlie was born. I thought it was a relevant post to rejuvinate with some updates and how it all worked.

We brought Pepper home when she was 9 weeks old, a month before we found out we were pregnant and she has given us so much laughter and love ever since. Now at 28 months old, she is still our baby dog and we really couldn't imagine life without her.

Look at how much she has grown!

Our family and friends call her a princess, as she really is. From day one she has much preferred a cuddle and snooze than a play with a toy, she detests the cold and rain and refuses to go outside if its wet and whines at me if its to cold whilst standing in front of the mini heater we have.

She is our first dog that either of us has been 100% responsible for and I am so proud of how well we have trained her. She is obedient and loyal and does anything we ask (to a point she is only a dog). She truly brightens up my day and has taught me some vital lessons of responsibility that I think will definitely help when the little man arrives.

As soon as we found out we were pregnant we were pleased that we could mould how we trained and treated Pepper to adapt when the baby came. That hasn't stopped her being a regular on the sofa and having the occasional snuggle snooze with me. So here are a few tips that we have found useful in training and treating Pepper in preparation for the little arrival.

#Treat her like a puppy.
When we very first got Pepper I admit I treated her a lot like a little baby, she was so tiny fitting in our hands that it was hard not to carry her everywhere, especially as she couldn't get in or outside via the back door step. As soon as we found out we started making her do everything herself including not cuddling her as much. We play with her on the floor and leave her to do puppy things instead of having her always in the room with us.

#Play rough.
Babies and toddlers are known for playing a little rough and since having Bens two year old nephew around the house recently we've seen first hand how rough little ones can be. With Pepper being so small she can look a lot like a toy (she actually has a toy dog bigger than her). So to get her used to the fact she will be the dog to a family house Ben started playing rough with her. I hated watching it as she is my little puppy who I cuddle and love and at times thought it was too rough but she loved it and thought it was playing. He would pull her leg and ears, things a small toddler will do. And it seems we have done a good job as with every squeeze and pull the two year old tortured Pepper with she just took it.

#Teach her to 'LEAVE'
We know that with a baby comes a lot of stuff. Therefore we ensured Pepper knew the command 'LEAVE IT' as soon as we say her name sometimes when she is exploring something she shouldn't she backs away and if not then a stern 'leave it' makes her back straight off and she never goes back.

#Let her bond with the bump.
Ever since my bump started to grow Pepper has been different with me. At first she avoided cuddling me and preferred Ben but then one day she snuggled up to the bump putting her head on it and has ever since been obsessed. She is very careful with me whereas she treats everyone else like furniture but she has never climbed over me or the bump, she sits a lot with her head resting on it and I like to think of it as her having some bonding time with the baby underneath.

#Do not tell her no.
When we get something new for the baby for example the cot, the pram, blankets and toys we never tell Pepper to get away from them. They will be staple pieces in our house for years to come so she needs to get used to them. Whenever we go upstairs to the nursery we allow her to come into the room with us so she knows what is in there and knows it isn't forbidden. She isn't allowed upstairs without us so if we hid in the room without her it would create a hostile environment.

#Give them their own space.
With the babies things risking taking over the house we have made special space for Pepper. She has always had her cage where her bed is by the back door in the alcove. She has her own blankets which she knows are hers and she is introduced to all of her toys, we give them to her and play with them with her so she knows that they are hers we then use the command 'leave' on things that are the babies. We have bought her a little bed that is placed in our living room, we make her go on this at night instead of snuggling with us on the sofa.

When people come round they are immediately drawn into Peppers charm, she really is adorable and everybody loves her and wants to give her fuss, the fact she is so cuddly and so small is just irresistible. But with everyone always giving Pepper immediate attention which she is getting used to we have had to ask our friends and family to ignore her for a few minutes as they will soon want to give the baby their attention first over Pepper making her jealous. Myself and Ben don't give her immediate attention when we get home and she hardly moves when its us that walk through the door so we know its slowly working.

#Don't let things slide.
Over the past week Peppers attitude has changed, where before she was so excitable and loving she is now withdrawn and acts as if she is in trouble. She has had more accidents in the kitchen this week than she has had over the past 3 months and has even had a wee in the middle of our dining room which she hasn't done since she was really, really little. We think she can sense that change is coming and is therefore 'acting up', so we have decided to treat her exactly the same. We are telling her off for her accidents and giving her the same affection we have always given her, although its so hard to not give her more when she looks so sad. I think this is the best thing we can do with her as we don't want her to know that her behaviour is tolerated.

There are things that we have planned for when the baby is here that we will do with Pepper to help her transition.

#Keep her routine.
She has a routine as to when she eats and goes for a walk. I must admit we don't take her out as much as we should or like but she is so little she gets so much exercise running around the house. But she is fed 3 times a day normally within a two hour space gap so for example so is fed between 7-9, then again at 1-2 then again at 6-8. This we will keep in place for her. As will her walks, we always take her on a Sunday so she gets at least one a week with both myself and Ben. This I want to carry on as it will be so nice to go for our Sunday morning walks with Pepper and the baby in tow.

#Let her say hello.
When I am in hospital Ben will bring home a clothing piece of the babies that he has worn so that Pepper can get used to his smell. When he comes home we will let Pepper into the room (she is kept in the kitchen when we are out) and I will give her some fuss, we will then see how she reacts with the baby. We will be very careful but we will not tell her to avoid the baby or get off him, unless she decides to try and have a cuddle with him. This will carry on through the weeks until she is used to him and we are confident in that fact, she has to be aware of him and not be jealous. She was here first but he will be the most important so it will be a very careful slow process that I'm sure she will be fine with.

#Have Pepper time.
If the baby is in his moses basket, bouncy chair or with someone else we will give Pepper some much deserved attention and cuddles. I don't want her to feel left out at all but baby comes first.

I haven't read any books or any research into how to tell your dog your pregnant as Pepper is my puppy and I'm sure my instincts will be fine. There are however some great books out there that you can buy which offer some great advice and a lot more detailed than my little captions. For example my Uncle and Aunt have taken their dog out for a walk with the pram in the early hours of the morning to get the dog used to the walking with the pram.

I hope these little tips will be of some help or are at least a little bit interesting. And if you don't have a puppy or are pregnant you may be one day! If you have any tips yourself please let me know I would love to know them!


When we brought Charlie home Pepper was so gentle, she had a good sniff and then for the next 12 months hasn't really been that interested. It's only now that Charlie adores her and wants to play with her that she gives him any attention. It was a really easy introduction and shes settled really quickly with a baby around the house. When he cries she will look for him to check hes ok or will go and sit by the monitor until we tell her its alright.When he wants to play with her she just lies there and lets him and then licks his hand or rolls over so he can stroke her tummy. I can see a beautiful relationship blossoming between Pepper and Charlie and couldn't be more relieved.

Love E xo