Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Podcast Episode 29: Victoria Schade is a dog trainer, author and entrepreneur who chatted with me about her new book. It’s a romantic comedy about a dog mom who finds herself translating her dog training skills to her love life – I can’t wait to see how that turns out! This book also serves as an opportunity to educate and improve the image of Pit Bulls. We cover a ton of interesting topics in this interview including marketing ideas and behind the scenes secrets of The Puppy Bowl!
Victoria Schade has been a dog trainer and writer for over seventeen years. During that time her dog duties have included working behind the scenes on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl as the lead animal wrangler, appearing on two seasons of the Animal Planet show Faithful Friends, writing dog training content and appearing in educational videos for NBC/Universal, Pet360, PawCulture and petMD, PLUS writing two dog training books, Bonding With Your Dog and Secrets of a Dog Trainer. Her first novel, Life on the Leash, comes out on September 18th.
Tori: After writing two nonfiction books about dog training, how did you decide to write a novel?
Victoria: Writing the novel was a no brainer. When you think about training dogs like I did for many years, in people’s homes, every time I walked through the door it was like a new sitcom and a new story line with an adorable dog as the main character. That’s originally how the idea for the book came to be. Also, when I was writing the training books I included little fictional vignettes. I realized those were some of my favorite elements to write for those books.
Tori: Your main character in Life on the Leash, Cora, is a dog trainer. Is she based on you?
Victoria: Cora is not me! Originally when I started writing I thought the main character would be based off me. But that ended up being challenging, so I decided to have more fun with Cora’s character and make her the sweetest, nicest person I could think up.
Tori: Are any of the dogs in the book based on real dogs you know?
Victoria: Good question! There’s actually just one dog in the book based on a real dog. Lucy the french bulldog belonged to a dear friend of mine. I included her as a way to honor the special bond we had. Oh and Honey the doberman is a tribute to one of my client’s dogs. But her dog was actually a Vizsla.
Tori: Why was the pit bull storyline so important to you?
Victoria: One of my goals with Life on the Leash is to change people’s perceptions. I’m a huge fan of pit bull advocacy so in addition to providing an entertaining book, I’d like to share just how wonderful pit bulls are. There’s so much misinformation that’s accepted as fact when it comes to that breed. In this day and age it’s so important to try to verify what you’re reading, there are so many false things written about pits. (mentioned in the episode Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon).
Tori: What’s the best part about working on Puppy Bowl?
Victoria: This will be my 13th year working on the Puppy Bowl and it’s even cuter in real life than on TV. I’m there to watch all the action on the field and make sure all the puppies are having a good time. I’m also behind the camera getting the puppies excited about running onto the set. A big part is also promoting the foster and rescue message.
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