updated 08/04/2013 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/02/2013 AT 4:05 PM ET
Nick Cannon loves dogs so much, he couldn t settle for owning just one. In fact, following the arrival of three new pups, he and wife Mariah Carey are now happy parents to eight Jack Russell terriers.
“I was introduced to them through [Mariah] who had always had friendly Jack Russells,” Cannon told PEOPLE Tuesday in the company of his 2½-month-old pup The Revered Pow Jackson at the IAMS So Good! Event in Union Square Park in New York City.
“I bought her a dog and then those dogs mated, and then we just started having a bunch of puppies.”
But while the America’s Got Talent host can’t get enough of his canine companions, his 2-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, don’t always feel the same.
“Sometimes they get scared of them. They’re trying to get used to the bigger ones,” Cannon says. “They can pick up and play with the puppies all day long. But when the bigger ones chase them around the pool, they get freaked out.”
Of course, Dad is always on hand to save the day if things get out of hand.
“It’s cool because you get to be the one to let them know that everything’s safe,” he says.
For Cannon, the pups are an endless source of entertainment.
“They do great tricks and they’re well-trained,” he says. “They do everything from standing and walking on their hind legs to tricks with toys. They swim a lot and fetch balls under water. It’s so cool.”