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Christopher Meloni's Dog Always Gets Her Way

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Christopher Meloni may play the resident tough guy on television as Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, but when it comes to his dog, Frida, he’s a big softie.

He soon learned that, with Frida, “telling her to get off the couch five times” eventually meant that he was the one that would have to get off the couch so that she could have it.

“When we got her, her name was Lady Sophia, and she is everything about that word [lady],” Meloni told PEOPLE Pets at the Joyful Revolution 4th Annual Gala earlier this month. “She is very prim and proper.”

Meloni’s dog, a rescue, wasn’t one of the more attractive dogs at the shelter. She had an injured foreleg and couldn’t use it that well, but the actor believed that his new lady could teach his two young children about tolerance and life’s imperfections.

Now that her name is no longer Lady Sophia, Frida has shown a few other personality quirks.

“She is a very willful dog,” Meloni said. “She’s constantly angling to get her way.”

As far as the couch goes, Friday will get what she wants. “But that doesn’t mean the kids’ beds, does it?”

Reporting by Jenisha Watts

See more celebrities and their pets on PEOPLE Pets:
Mario Batali Is on the Lookout for a New Dog
Rebecca Romijn: My Husband Is Just Like the Dog