03/03/2011 at 04:59 PM EST
At a recent photo shoot, a makeup artist touched up Eva Mendes
's blush while another assistant fetched a bottle of water to quench the actress's thirst. But of all her attendants, one kept especially close
– Belgian Malinois Hugo.
"He's amazing," Mendes told PEOPLEPets.com of her seven-year-old companion, who dutifully followed her around the shoot for Reebok's new EasyTone sneakers, never more than a yard or two from her side. "He and I are inseparable, so he's with me all day."
While there's no doubt in this case that Hugo is truly man's best friend, he's also much more than that to Mendes.
"I think there are so many dogs that need homes, so if I ever get another dog, it will definitely be a rescue," says the PETA spokesmodel
, who considers herself "very anti-breeders." "But we specifically bought him for the purpose of security. He's an attack dog, a guard dog."
And though Hugo may seem sweet-natured, Mendes warns his bite is much worse than his bark.
"You can't tell [because] he's really sweet, but once he goes back to his house, which is my house, he holds that fort down. It's crazy!" Mendes says. "There better not even be a squirrel in my yard past 10 p.m. because he just goes ape over it."
To burn off extra energy, Mendes and Hugo go for plenty of outdoor walks. Even when the hikes aren't a possibility, Hugo is adaptable – he's proficient on the treadmill.
Is there more to say about Hugo? "I could talk about him all day," Mendes says. But she'll stop here for now.Read more about celebrities and their pets: True Blood's Sam Trammell Has a Cat-like Dog Glee's Harry Shum Jr. Has an 'Almost' Dancing Dog