Victoria Schade was working in corporate America during the tech boom in Northern Virginia. By all accounts, she was living the life that most of us aspire to live. One day, however, she felt an overwhelming desire to leave it all behind and become a dog trainer. Victoria believes it was Divine Intervention, or maybe, more precisely, Canine Intervention. Victoria’s Google searches moved from corporate strategies to the latest techniques on how to walk with man’s best friend; and she couldn’t be happier with her decision.
Twenty years ago, dog training was not necessarily a logical choice for a viable career path. Nevertheless, Victoria, forged ahead with what she felt called to do with her life. Her path has been a winding one that began with a lot of research and an apprenticeship as a dog trainer working with many Bucks County families to ensure a strong bond with their furry friends. Eventually, her motivation and self-study about the world of dogs and dog training led to various roles at Animal Planet, both in front of the camera, and behind the scenes. In addition to co-hosting a show called “Faithful Friends”, she has been the lead animal wrangler on the popular Puppy Bowl special for over 10 years. She has also worked with dogs and puppies on the set during the filming of a variety of commercials and television programs. More recently, Victoria added published author to her list of accomplishments – writing a series of both fiction and non-fiction books centered around; you guessed it - Dogs!
Throughout her years of training dogs, and with much time and research, Victoria has learned how to effectively train pets to live with their humans in a loving partnership. She has watched as old ways of training died out, giving rise to more positive, dog friendly methods of training pets. At the foundation of Victoria’s methods of training, she believes that our pets are our best friends and should be trained with science-based, positive reinforcement methods, not force.
Working as a trainer has introduced Victoria to a lot of dogs, but also the families at the “human end of the leash”. She found the work both rewarding and emotionally taxing and sometimes moving and even hilarious. Victoria would often tell her mom about the experiences she had after a day of training, both humans and pets, and it was her mother who inspired the thought that these stories might just be the makings of a book. Victoria’s writing career began with providing “How To” content for pet websites and grew to include two non-fiction training books. The real-life vignettes she included in those books from her dog training days made her realize that there was a way to weave these stories, and the lessons learned from our furry family members, into a great novel. Victoria’s knack for writing along with her passion for pups has culminated in novels that use the lighthearted loveable nature of pets to touch on more serious topics in a way that leaves you moved and joyful at the same time. Her first novel, Life on the Leash was published in 2018, followed by Who Rescued Who (2020), and the recently released Lost, Found and Forever (2021).
Victoria lives in Doylestown with her husband and her best friends, dogs, Millie and Olive. Victoria has moved away from full-time training to spend more time writing and loving all things dogs; she is also an active dog foster through Animal Care and Control Team in Philadelphia. Victoria couldn’t let the opportunity of this publication pass by without making a plug to encourage readers to consider becoming a foster. She was quick to mention that having a dog for an extended period of time in your home is not the only way to foster a dog. In fact, she says, you can help with dog transport to foster homes, hold them during adoption events, and help love these pups in many other ways.
Victoria’s self-created canine career path may have started with a dog whisper, but it’s clear that it's become a full out howl.