The last time fans got a glimpse of Jake Owen's bulldog Merle, he was just a pup. As he nears his first birthday, however, the singer's traveling companion has transformed from an adorable lap dog into an intimidating body guard. Owen recently tweeted this picture of Merle, who has taken the place of his other (and older) bulldog Vern as a tour bus buddy.

"Hi. My name is Merle. I'm basically a bad a---. I taught the honeybadger everything it knows. Try me. Come at me bro," Owen tweeted on Tuesday.

The puppy isn't as mean as he looks. Like many bulldogs, Merle sleeps most of the day. “Once he passes out, he’s out,” Owen said in a recent interview with PEOPLE. The 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' singer admits the dog has quickly claimed real estate in the front half of his bus.

From the looks of his Twitter page, Owen took both dogs on a boating or fishing trip yesterday. He posted a photo of a big pickup truck backing up to get hitched up to a boat called the Wake Setter. This weekend, Owen begins a run of shows through Florida and Georgia.