Gerard Butler has adopted a stray dog he found ''up a mountain in Bulgaria''.

The 48-year-old actor has taken to Instagram to show off the new love in his life after he found the homeless pet pooch who ''stole [his] heart'' when he discovered her in a remote part of the eastern European country.

In an Instagram post showing him cuddled up alongside his new four-legged friend, he wrote: ''Thankful for a new wee doggie in my life. She was a stray while I was filming up a mountain in Bulgaria. Stole my heart. (sic)''

Gerard - who split with his on/off girlfriend Morgan Brown in August - taking care of a new pet pooch could get him into practice for looking after a baby after he revealed last month he would love to start a family within the next five years.

He said: ''I have no personal life. In five years I want to be in a relationship. I'd love to have one or two kids - it's about time.

''I want to be more run by my personal life than my career.''

The 'London Has Fallen' star, who resides in Malibu, California, admitted he is keen to move to North Carolina during his later years to be more at one with nature.

He said: ''My stomach aches when I think about nature and adventure. I have a place out in Malibu right now but [in five years], I want to have a place in North Carolina or somewhere that I spend more time in nature.''

However, one of the '300' actor's pals has previously said they aren't sure whether he will ever settle down.

A friend said: ''Gerry just isn't ready to settle down. He thought Morgan might have been the right person at the right time but it wasn't to be.

''Some of Gerry's friends have given up on thinking he would ever settle down. He is having too much fun.''