Nick Lachey: My Dog Wookie Was a ‘Good Trial for Real Parenthood'

Part of the family! Nick Lachey opened up to Today.com about how his dog, Wookie, prepared him to be a father of three.

The former 98 Degrees singer, 43, and his wife, Vanessa Lachey, got the Yorkipoo in 2007 shortly after they started dating. The duo credit the dog as a stepping stone toward their three children, Camden, 4, Brooklyn, 2, and Phoenix, 4 months.

I Love my boys.

A post shared by Vanessa Lachey (@vanessalachey) on

#happynationalpuppyday to my first born. #Wookie

A post shared by Nick Lachey (@nicklachey) on

"It’s so funny. When you talk to people who have kids and don’t have dogs, they refuse to see the connection between having a dog and using that as a little bit of a training ground, but we totally, totally buy into that,” Nick told Today.com. "It’s obviously different having a child and having a dog. But in a lot of ways, some of the principles apply, with patience and things like that. Wookie was definitely a good training ground — a good trial for real parenthood.”

Now, the kids adore Wookie, too. "He’s a great dog and in a lot of ways was our first child — still is our first child,” the former Big Morning Buzz Live host said. "He’s always been a part of our family, and always traveled with us, and been a part of everything we’ve done. So we love the old boy."

The TV personality added that 10-year-old Wookie is living “a privileged life” for a pup. "He’s the dog in a designer bag in first class under the seat, and he’s been that way since he was a puppy,” he joked. Plus, Wookie gets treated to private concerts by the swoonworthy singer. “Wookie’s been serenaded a few times,” Nick quipped.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!