Hello, my name is Natalie Shoemate and I am the owner and one of the certified dog trainers of Copilot Academy, LLC. I have been passionate about dogs my entire life. I admire their natural ability to coexist with humans and provide unquantifiable amounts of love, forgiveness and companionship. I graduated from the University of North Texas at the top of my class with a degree in Communication. Thanks to the support of family and friends, almost a decade later, I was able to start pursuing my passion for dog training full time.

I achieved the highest training certification “Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist” through  Starmark Academy™, the largest International School for Professional Dog Trainers.  In addition I am a proud Associate member of The International Association of Canine Professionals & am currently certified as a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator through the American Kennel Club (AKC). 



I have gained first hand experience with a wide variety of breeds/mixes through my additional apprenticeship under the mentorship of Mike Kaviani, Dog Behavior Program Manager for Austin Pets Alive. The diversity of issues that shelter dog’s presents has helped further fine tune my skills of handling all levels of dog behavior.

My extensive training education, degree and hands on experience has allowed me to become an effective communicator with clients. I am proud to provide training that can be easily generalized and duplicatable for my clients and their dogs long term. I use canine psychology when working with dogs and their owners to help institute guidelines and boundaries for the leadership roles within homes. I help people teach their dogs to become more responsive, obedient and well-behaved companions!

As a current and previous owner of very diverse shelter dogs, I know first-hand the challenges owners face when bringing a new member into the family. I believe and have proven that dogs have the potential to be trained at any age. My dogs have taught me just that. 


Growing up in California, I worked on several ranches working and riding horses. My life has always been filled with animals, but working my dogs was what I looked forward to the most. From Chihuahuas to Mastiffs, we had a diverse pack of dogs to work with. Although I have always had a passion for animals, I come from a family of veterans and I decided to join the military.

Once I separated from the military, I traveled with my dogs for a year until settling back in Texas. Getting back into a schedule, I began attending school and working with an Equine Therapy facility. During that time, I started my dog training adventure with Copilot in order to advance my dogs obedience. Upon finishing my lessons, I realized I enjoyed watching dogs learn and grow from training and that it was what I wanted to pursue as a career. Being able to help owners and their dogs achieve their goals brings me as much joy as doing it with my own dogs. I look forward to getting to work with each new owner and dog team!


I have always had animals in my life; the joy they brought me was so much more than I could ever imagine.  Growing up in Alice, Texas I lived on a 40-acre ranch working with goats, horses, chickens, pigs, dogs, and even cats.  I learned that animals had feelings and that if treated with respect, they would return that same respect.  All dogs have a degree of love and compassion if tapped into, the possibilities are endless for what they can do for you.  My current pack consists of a 7-year-old German Shepherd/Boxer mix and a 1-year-old Redbone coonhound and I owe them for driving me to pursue dog training.  I come from a military family, and the drive and dedication I received from my family and military life gave me the background to provide the same dedication and drive for training.

In the military, I wanted to do something with law enforcement and work with K9 units.  Instead, I took the path of electrician and electronics and provided customer support for 14 years troubleshooting and repairing broken electronics.  I got my Associate’s degree in electrical engineering then changed to Computer Science with a cybersecurity concentration.  Sitting behind a computer was not what I wanted to do and helping people is a big motivator for me.  Now I can serve people and help dogs live in a good forever home while giving me an opportunity to interact with people and build confidence, obedience, and compassion in dogs of all sizes.  I see training animals as a hobby because hobbies are something you do with a passion.  I look forward to working with all dogs and owners to build bonds that will last a lifetime.


Born and raised in Kentucky, my life revolved around dogs. I adopted my first dog at 21 and immediately sought out a trainer in efforts to learn how to work with my new rescue dog. After
completing my training program, I was offered the opportunity to work with that company full time, which kick started my love for dog training. During my time at that company, I absorbed a
wealth of knowledge that helped propel my dog training goals. Fast forward 10 years and my active duty husband, myself and my rescue shepherd husky mix, Koa, moved to Killeen.

After much research, Copilot Academy was my top choice company to work for due to their ethics, high standards and balanced training approach. Even though I have a strong training
background, I still went through Copilot Academy’s rigorous trainers’ program so that continued standards could be ensured. Dogs and people are my passion. I can’t wait to meet with you!