11/09/2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Ever the proud parent, Nancy Travis can't help loving her dogs – in spite of their flaws.
"I have the least trained dogs," the Last Man Standing star tells PEOPLE. "Though I will say, they are the nicest dogs."
Travis, 51, lives with her two rescues, 6-year-old golden retriever mix Amy and 7-year-old mutt Crystal, husband and two sons in the Los Angeles area, and that's the order of her family hierarchy.
"The animals rule the roost here," the actress explains. "My husband says I sometimes seem to care about my animals more than anybody else – which isn't true! But I do care a great deal."
Amy ("the Christie Brinkley of dogs") and Crystal ("the worrier") get away with jumping on people and sleeping on the bed, but that's the way Travis's family likes the "big lovefest."
The one thing Amy and Crystal don't do is go to the set of Travis's ABC comedy, in which she costars with Tim Allen and a couple of four-legged actors named Teddy and Freddy, who play dog Muffin on the show.
"Talk about a difference in training," Travis says, laughing. "Those dogs are trained to sit still despite distraction."