How well does your dog listen? Does he drop something when you tell him? Does she come to you when you call her? Does he respond to his name when he hears it?

Having an obedient dog isn’t just about showing them off to your friends. It is about knowing that they will listen to you in dangerous or emergency situations.

These basic commands will help train your dog to always respond appropriately.

Its name: Your dog learning its name is arguably the most important “command” they should learn. If you need to get your dog’s attention quickly in any emergency or urgent situation, calling their name is surely the best way to do so.

Come: Teaching a dog to come when called is crucial to their safety, as well as just good training behaviors. Knowing that your dog will return to your side in an instant when called is a good way to ensure that they will be safe if you are in a dangerous situation.

Sit/lay down: These commands are some of the easiest to teach a dog, and essential ones at that. When you tell your dog to sit, they know they should stay sitting unless told otherwise. Adding lay down can be helpful if you are in a crowded place and need your pup to stay in one spot instead of greeting everyone.

Off: Some dogs love to greet everyone that acknowledges them, and for some this means jumping up to say hello. Teaching your dog the off command can be used in regards to people, especially strangers, or if the dog has a habit of jumping onto the counter or furniture where they aren’t allowed.

Stay: When you teach your dog to sit and lay down, they should be taught to stay in that command until told otherwise. However, the stay command is a great reassurance for both the pet parent and the dog, as it ensures they will stay where they are. This is also a great command to use should you be in a dangerous situation and need your dog to stay put to avoid them getting injured or lost.

Leave it: Lots of dogs have trouble resisting anything that may look tempting or delicious. Sometimes this is okay, but if they are eyeing something that could be harmful or toxic to them, you want to make sure they know it’s not OK to investigate. The leave it command is a great way to let your dog know that they are not to touch, pick up, or eat whatever it is that has their attention.

Drop it: Some dogs like to put everything in their mouth. When it comes to toys and treats this is OK, but what if your dog picks up something that could be dangerous? The drop it command could be a lifesaver. This command also is a great way to teach your dog that possessiveness is not a good thing for them to exhibit.

Teaching your dog basic commands is not only good for their mental health and manners, but can also help to make sure your dog avoids dangers and stays safe in emergency scenarios. It is your job as a responsible pet parent to make sure your dog is set up for success in any situation.

Tricia Montgomery is founder and CEO of K9 Fit Club, with locations across the U.S., including Bluffton.