Tom Schwartz Says He Has Found a 'Great Balance' Co-Parenting Dogs with Ex Katie Maloney (Exclusive)

The 'Vanderpump Rules' star gives PEOPLE an update on the former couple's furry friends, Butter and Gordo

<p>Amanda Edwards/Getty</p> Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney and their dogs Gordo and Butter

Amanda Edwards/Getty

Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney and their dogs Gordo and Butter

Split puppy custody is going well so far for Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney.

The Vanderpump Rules stars are “in a really good place,” Schwartz tells PEOPLE at the show’s season 11 premiere in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and that includes how they’re caring for their shared dogs, Butter and Gordo.

“We have a great balance,” he says of their “joint custody” arrangement, but admits it “can get ugly.”

“I feel like we’ve been through some rough moments in our post-divorce relationship. I feel like we always handle it with decorum — for the most part.” He teases that fans will get to see some of their newfound dynamic “play out this season.”

Schwartz, 41, and Maloney, who filed for divorce in 2022, “have a good flow right now,” he adds. “And I'm so happy.”

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Todd Williamson/Bravo via Getty (2) Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz
Todd Williamson/Bravo via Getty (2) Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz

When it comes to the possibility of either of them moving on with other people — or moving generally — and ending the joint custody agreement, the Tom Tom bar owner says, “I hope not.”

Schwartz does want to get out of Los Angeles soon, though.

“I think I maybe got five — I think I got 10 years left in me, tops,” he tells PEOPLE. “I'm thinking I wanna go live with some goats up in the mountains. Colorado, maybe Wyoming.”

Related: Tom Schwartz Is No Longer 'Ashamed' to Have Guests in His Post-Divorce Bachelor Pad: 'Major Rebrand' (Exclusive)

He’s described the puppies as “my two favorite creatures on planet earth,” and in 2021 shared an adorable shot of each of them in the bath as he said they “bring us great joy every day.”

Butter and Gordo were also a crucial part of the couple’s life during quarantine in 2020.

Schwartz even admitted that they “have a little bit of attachment issues” after how much time the foursome spent together.

“They were our companions, though, you know, when things were at their worst,” he told Bravo’s The Daily Dish. “They were always there for us. They brought us a lot of joy this year. But definitely some attachment issues.”

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Since their separation, Maloney, 37, and Schwartz have worked to find a new normal in their relationship.

In February 2023, she told PEOPLE they'd created some "distance" to help transition away from being a couple after Schwartz had described them as "still close."

"I think just having that little bit of distance from one another is probably the healthiest thing. So I think we're kind of finding that right now."

They're "not best friends" but are "trying to find that sort of sweet spot," she added.

"Because we have dogs and a lot of love for one another and I just feel like he's still such a huge part of my life and just kind of not having him in my life just feels so weird."

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