updated 06/26/2009 AT 6:19 PM ET
•originally published 06/29/2009 AT 7:45 AM ET
Mark Burnett, the uber-producer behind such shows as Survivor and The Celebrity Apprentice, often leads a larger-than-life existence. And wife Roma Downey, the former star of Touched by An Angel, has often acknowledged the influence of her Celtic roots. It makes sense, then, that the two beloved dogs who share their Malibu home with their three children are very big – but sweet – Irish wolfhounds, Finn, 3, and Max, 1.
“He’s called Maximus because the two boys, [sons] James and Cameron, out-voted [daughter] Reilly because of the movie Gladiator!” Burnett tells PEOPLE Pets about one of his beloved pups. But the mellow dogs are anything but warrior-like. “You don’t want dogs around where your guests feel like they are about to get bitten or something – we’ve all been in those places,” adds Burnett. “[Finn and Max] are calm and non-threatening.”
Yet Burnett has no illusions that he’s the master of the house when it comes to his pooches. That honor goes to the lady of the manor – his wife. “They love her,” he says of the dogs’ devotion to Downey. “They follow her around everywhere.”
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