The Dancing with the Stars pro reveals how her dog suddenly developed an accent

By Helin Jung
Updated August 16, 2011 01:00 PM

’s vocabulary has gotten a little more French lately, and she can thank Evan Lysacek for that.

The Dancing with the Stars pro, who occasionally comes to set with her 7-year-old rescue Chihuahua, started the show’s 10th season last year with a dog named Cotton. Midway through it, Cotton had become Cottén.

“Evan Lysacek was hanging around us a lot and changed Cotton’s name to Cottén,” Burke tells PEOPLE. “So now we call her Cottén.” PHOTOS: Dancing with the Stars – and Their Pets!

Cottén once lived in a shopping cart with other Chihuahuas, but now spends most of her time near Burke’s lap.

“She is a sweet, sweet dog,” Burke says. “Her tongue is too big for her mouth, so her tongue permanently sticks out. She’s my little cuddler. She takes care of herself, really. She needs a lot of attention but not as much as a normal dog would.”

And while she gets along fine with Burke, Cottén has had some past drama with other dancers. “She’s not a fan of Derek [Hough]’s. She’s not a fan of guys, period,” Burke says. “Derek just messes with her. He’ll run after her around my dining room table.”

Catch Cheryl Burke on the season premiere of What Not to Wear on TLC this Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. ET.

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