If you’re lucky, you might spy actor Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin Malone in NBC’s The Office, running errands around L.A. with his three dogs, Truman, Otto, and Merle. But one thing you’ll never catch him doing? Dressing up his little dogs.
“When I lived in Minnesota, I put a coat on Truman because it was so cold,” Baumgartner tells PEOPLE Pets, of his 9-year-old Shih-Tzu (not pictured). “But he would just stand there. He thought it was his cloak of invisibility. Like, ‘What is this thing? I’m not playing this game.’ “
With the premiere of the new season having just aired last week, it’s a good thing he has devoted dogs to wind down with at home. “Truman’s like my best buddy,” he says. “He follows me everywhere and does everything. But fun and playful? He thinks that’s below him.” The award for most rambunctious goes to Merle, a 4-year-old sharpee-English bulldog mix Baumgartner jokingly said resembled a “hideous dinosaur” as a puppy. Says the actor, “It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone five seconds–he’ll look at me then go to find a toy he can bring me.” And if no toys are in sight? “He’ll run around with a sock. I don’t think I’ve had socks survive for longer than five weeks!”
And if training is lost on any of the lot, that would be Otto, his 8-year-old pug. “It’s an impossible feat for him to know anything except what time dinner is,” he says. “He’d sell his soul for a hamburger.” While tricks may be out of the question, what Otto does offer is “a hundred percent love and compassion.”
With Merle scared of Truman, Truman acting above it all, and Otto running around trying to demonstrate his dominance, it’s no wonder Baumgartner laughs at their lack of pack mentality. Sounds like enough personality for a reality show!