Dutch Language Blog

Puppy 101 Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Dutch Vocabulary

After months of searching and searching, we are finally parents of a beautiful Welsh Cardigan Corgi! The road to puppy-parenthood has been somewhat different in the Netherlands, but we are happily getting by.

Lisa (photograph taken by Astrid G Molina)

Our puppy’s name is Lisa and she is very energetic! The last few weeks have been devoted to potty training, registering her at the gemeente and training her. For those of you thinking of getting a dog, here is some useful information for puppies in the Netherlands.


If you get a dog, you have to register it at your gemeente. You are by law belastingplichtig or in other words required to pay taxes for the dog. The amount of this depends on the city where you live and the number of dogs you have. For my city, the tax is about €64 a year for the first dog. There are a few exemptions, for example, for service dogs.


Dogs are required to have a chip that can be scanned by a dierenarts or vet and by the dierenpolitie (or really anyone with a chip scanner). Each chip has a unique identification number that is linked to the pet. It is very important to not only chip your dog, but to also register the dog and chip in the Stichting Nederlandse Databank Gezelschapsdieren or NDG. If you loose y0ur dog, the dog can easily be traced back to you. The chip is also used for other animals.


Dogs are also required to be vaccinated. This is for the safety of everyone including the dog. The vaccinations are against illnesses related to the parvovirus, hondenziekte, ziekte van Weil and kennelhoest. I won’t add more information about this other than TALK TO YOUR DIERENARTS!


One of the most common reasons why humans abandon their dogs is because they are not zindelijk or potty trained. If you walk your dog so it can relieve itself, make sure you take something to pick up the poop or you might have to pay a fine (and it’s just not polite to leave dog poop on the street!). Each city has requirements of where dogs can walk and if they need to be aan de lijn or on the leash. Check with your gemeente!


We are teaching Lisa the commands in Dutch in order to make it easier for anyone who helps us take care of her. This has been a learning experience for Lisa and for myself because the commands in Dutch are not natural to me. The basic commands are zit (sit), hier (here or come), blijf (stay), los (let go) and af (down). If you want to teach it to stop barking, you can say zwijg or stil, and if you want it to lay on its belly, you can say lig. There are, of course, many more commands that you can teach your dog. Regardless of the language you choose, the key is to be consistent!

For some tips about how to teach commands (and practice listening), here is a useful video.


Do you have any tips or interesting experiences  you can share with us?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Barbara:

    dogs understand the tone of the voice, so any language will do. We use Dutch and English and both are understood because we use the same inflection in the voice.