Meet your trainers
About Natalie Shoemate, Rebbeckah Reagan & Chris Gasior, Certified Dog Trainers
Hello, my name is Natalie Shoemate and I am the owner and certified dog trainer 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).
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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.
I am the proud owner of a Pointer mix named Koa and a Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois named Zella! Each dog has challenged me to think outside the box in order to address their behavior issues. I enjoy exercising all of my dogs, working out, traveling, kayaking, camping and spending time with family.
Thank you for visiting Copilot Academy’s website. I look forward to offering a training plan for you and your dog that will make coexisting even more pleasurable. Call today to schedule a free consultation to soar your dog’s obedience to new heights!
ABOUT REBBECKAH Reagan, Lead CERTIFIED TRAINER
I was born and raised in Colorado. I lived half my life on a farm where I had many animals to include dogs. I first found my passion for working with animals through owning my first dog, which was an Australian Shepherd. After I graduated high school I went into the army, and served for three years. Upon getting out of the Army, I decided to follow my true passion, which was dog training full time! I have over 4 years of experience volunteering and teaching dog handling classes at shelters. I am still pushing myself to learn more and stay updated on the best training techniques for dogs by going to seminars and working with other trainers.
My dog Axel who is a Belgian Malinois mix helps to motivate me to stay active and get out more. I have brought Axel a long way since getting him from a shelter. I picked Axel, the most fearful dog to foster. Just getting him to my car was difficult with how fearful and scared he was. If you saw him today and observed his confidence, you would never guess he started out with so many insecurities. I've gone through the process of training my him to be a service dog, and can understand how frustrating that process can be having all the correct information. In addition, I am a CERTIFIED CANINE GOOD CITIZEN EVALUATOR through the American Kennel Club. The best part of my job is seeing the transition of a dog from the beginning to the end as they learn basic and advanced obedience. I am looking forward to the opportunity to help educate you and your dog on your journey training journey!
ABOUT Chris Gasior, LEAD BOARD & TRAIN CERTIFIED TRAINER
Chris was born and raised in Rhode Island. He grew up around working dogs, specifically police K9’s. In his early 20’s he decided that he wanted to start working with and training his one year old German Shepherd, Jerry Lee in the sport of Schutzhund. After joining a Schutzhund club, he began apprenticing and working with the head trainer for 3 years. Afterwards, Chris decided to branch out and work with non-working dogs as well.
He has worked and trained hundreds of different breeds and temperaments over the last 20 years. After relocating to Texas, he worked as a military contractor on Fort Hood for about 7 years. In 2017 he decided he wanted to invest in a high drive Belgian Malinois to train in IPO. Due to Sable’s temperament, he instead decided to train her as his personal service dog.
After Chris’ military contract ended, he decided he wanted to follow his passion for dog training once again. Chris joined the Copilot Academy Training Team in September of 2018. Currently he is Copilot Academy’s Lead Board and Train Trainer and says he has never been happier. Chris says “The best part of my “job” is seeing the transition from the beginning to the end as the dog that I work with learns basic and advanced obedience in order to become a more well behaved companion. I can’t wait to help you and your dog bring out their full potential.”