The DWTS star adopted the 6-year-old pup, who goes by Sleep for short, when the dog was just 6 weeks old. And tiny Sleep grew into his name perfectly.
“I was actually hanging out with my friends and we were fairly intoxicated, and I was having such a great time, and I was like, ‘The only thing missing right now from our company would be a white bulldog,’ ” Chmerkovskiy, 29, tells PEOPLE on the origin of the dog’s name.
He adds, “They said some names, and then I was like Sleep! Yeah, Sleep! Sir Sleep-A-Lot. So he was named before I even got him. Then he kind of embraced the name because he sleeps all the time. And snores really loud.”
Sleep has also grown into quite the wingman, helping his owner keep his dance card full.
“He is a chick magnet. I used to have a dance studio, Dance with Me, in [New York City] and I would teach, and in the middle of lessons I would just go outside and sit with him and pick up girls. I would have an average of three numbers every 45 minutes,” Chmerkovskiy says of his furry pick-up artist, who is also taking credit for his owner’s apperance in our Sexiest Man Alive issue.
“He would be like, ‘If it wasn’t for me you probably wouldn’t have this photo shoot right now. So, you’re welcome for the Sexiest Man Alive photo shoot.”
But Sleep doesn’t do all the work for his dad; some of that swagger comes from his fancy-footed owner.
“It’s funny, I feel like dogs take after their owners and certain mannerisms and the energy that they have,” the 14-time U.S. National Latin Dance champion says. “And Sleep is a very laid-back dog and he definitely takes after me and is very handsome as well. He’s got a great personality.”
That’s probably why the duo gets along so well, and why, no matter what girls Sleep brings into his life, Chmerkovskiy’s relationship with his canine companion will alway be one of his strongest.
“We have a bi-costal relationship, long distance. But you know its been six years, and we were together for four years before that so I feel like the last two years, even though we had some distance between us, the love is still strong. We make it work like any other couple,” the dancer jokes of his paw-fect partner.
—REPORTING BY ANA CALDRONE
To read more about Val and Sir Sleep-A-Lot, pick up the 30th Anniversary edition of PEOPLE‘s Sexiest Man Alive issue, on newsstands on Friday. And for even more hot guys, tune in Wednesday night to PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive 2015: 30 Years of Sexy special at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.