Meet Our Team


Certified Professional Dog Trainer-KA, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer; Founder, Owner, and Lead Dog Training & Behavior Specialist


Dr. Sarah is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-KA and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant who has been professionally involved with dog training for 17 years. She founded The Canine Connection in Chico, California, in January 2002, after moving to Chico, California in summer 2001 to assume a full-time position at Cal State Chico. Since then, she has helped generations of dogs (and now generations of people too), with their beloved canine friends.

Click HERE to read more about Dr. Sarah’s certifications, background, and experience.


Autumn,  a newcomer to the Chico area, found us when she was seeking help for her new puppy, Darby, a sweet and spunky cattledog.  Along with bringing Darby through our puppy pogram, Autumn answered our call for our management team and her Canine Connection adventures began. Originally from Sonoma, California, Autumn found her passion for country living while working for seven years on a 100-acre ranch.  There,  she fell in love with good ole’ fashion hospitality, farm-to-table living, outdoor events and of course farm animals including Clydesdale horses, beef cattle, chickens, ranch dogs and bottle fed raccoons. Along with Darby, her canine clown, Autumn’s other best friend is Banjo, her one year old tabby cat adopted from Butte Humane Society.


Instructor/Trainer, Dog Sports


Kathy leads our dogs sports program with her impressive Australian Shepherd, Eli, by her side. Kathy grew up with horses and dogs. She took her first obedience class at 8 years old and was showing her Shelties in conformation and obedience soon afterwards. She competed with her horses in a variety of equine sports as a child and participated in trail and endurance riding well into her adult years.

When her children moved off to college, Kathy decided that she wanted to try a new sport so she and Eli enrolled, in January 2009, in an agility class at The Canine Connection. By the end of the year she and Eli were successfully competing and they haven’t stopped winning titles since! Eli has achieved an agility championship in Canine Performance Events (CPE) and made the “Top Ten Merit List” two years in a row in Jumpers and Gamblers in the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA). In 2014, they took up trick training and a new dog sport called “barn hunt.” Eli has started earning titles in each. To date, Kathy and Eli have earned 32 titles from the various dog sport associations – all since taking that first agility class at The Canine Connection!

As her dog sports career has unfolded, Kathy has taken lessons and classes and attended seminars with many of the field’s top trainers and competitors. She is a certified Trick Training Instructor with Kyra Sundance’s program “Do More With Your Dog.” In all her classes, Kathy’s focus is, first and foremost, on making training fun. Whether the final goal is competition or just joyful ways to interact with our animal friends, Kathy works with each human-canine team in ways that bring out their teamwork and bring on success.

Kathy graduated from Chico State with a degree in Agri-Business. She shares her home with two dogs, three cats, three horses and one super nice guy. 


Our gifted team of Dog Care Attendants – we call them Dog Care Dudes and Divas – bring years of experience working with dogs in veterinary clinics, dog daycares, boarding facilities, and other animal settings. Each Dog Care Attendant completes a 16 module training program as part of their work with us, the only training program of its kind in the dog care industry. Many of our Dog Care Attendants have graduated from Butte County’s ROP Animal Careers / Certified Veterinary Assistant program. They love dogs, are skilled with dogs, and feel privileged to care for your dogs here at The Canine Connection.