K9 Connection Staff

Tyler Muto – Owner, Training Director

Tyler started K9 Connection in 2007 to fulfill his dream of helping dogs and owners live harmonious lives together. Tyler oversees and develops the training programs at K9 Connection, and works diligently to advance our training techniques and coach the staff.

Additionally, Tyler travels the world teaching seminars to other professional trainers who want to improve their skills and learn the secrets of our success. Tyler also serves as the President of the International Association of Canine Professionals. In 2015 Tyler was selected to be an instructor for Leerburg Online University, one of the most well respected and prestigious web-based dog training companies. His personal Pack includes Lobo (Belgian Malinois), Charlie (terrier mix) and Ella (terrier mix). In addition to training dogs, Tyler also enjoys hiking, kung fu, meditation, and spending time with his family. Tyler personally coaches all the staff at K9 Connection, and directs all the training programs. He is not currently accepting new clients.



Amy Cappelli –  General Manager

Though Amy’s background is in illustration and Design, she has always had a fascination with dogs. She began fostering dogs for the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter which peeked her interest in dog behavior and behavior modification. While dealing with a particularly difficult foster dog, she sought the guidance of K9 Connection and was inspired by the leadership that turned an “un-adoptable” dog into a family companion. Since that time, Amy has strived to help others build stronger relationships with their canine companions.

Amy lives in Buffalo with her four children and a menagerie of animals, which includes a tiny pack of rescue dogs.


Allison Potts – Office – Dog Trainer Allison wears many hats at K9 Connection. Previously working with the Board and Train dogs, Allison now works in the office. Allison began her carrier with animals in veterinary medicine as a technician, but was quickly introduced into the training world with working bred labrador retrievers, as well as horses.  Allison lives in Amherst with her husband, young daughter and a menagerie of creatures including reptiles, smush face cats and dogs.          

Barb Lenahan – Dog Trainer – Board & Train, Group Classes

Barb has had a lifetime of loving and working with her own dogs, and has been training dogs professionally for over fifteen years. In addition to working privately with owners and their dogs to solve problems, Barb has been teaching Puppy, Basic and Advanced Obedience, Scent Work, Rally, Canine Good Citizen and Therapy International preparation classes. Barb is certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and also as a Therapy Dog International Evaluator. She currently owns two Dobermans, and has been successful in the obedience ring, achieving many AKC and other working titles.

Together with Dobermans she volunteers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, bringing support, comfort and companionship to patients, families and staff.


Sami Sodaro -Dog Trainer – Board & Train , Private Lessons Sami has been an animal lover for her entire life. Growing up, she had a wide array of pets of all shapes and sizes. Dogs have always been an important part of her personal life and being able to incorporate them into her work life has been a dream come true! She currently has three dogs of her own, a maltipoo, pit bull,  and Great Dane. Sami graduated from the University at Buffalo for Environmental Studies, Animal Behavior, and Biological Sciences.  Working at K9 connection has been an amazing start to her career in working with animals. She is infatuated with the work she does here and is eager to broaden her knowledge on training and all that goes with it.



Cait Adams – Enrichment Coordinator

Cait has been working with dogs for the last several years and has always known she has wanted to work with them. The opportunity to work with us came up and she jumped at the chance to further her education in training. She lives with her husband and a small zoo! 2 dogs, Aurora and Atticus, and several cats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing a variety of crafts, and being outside with her dogs!


 Jake Smolinski – Videographer, Enrichment Assistant    

Coming from a documentary and film background, Jake never expected to find himself in the dog world! However, making training videos, working with the dogs, and documenting life at K9 Connection is now one of his passions. You can find Jake hanging out with his grumpy, old shih tzu, Po Boi, in the office working on all sorts of media content for the K9 Connection crew. 

Jake graduated from La Salle University in Philly with a Mass Media and Digital Art degree, working in the city for three years producing documentaries that profiled innovators in the Greater Philadelphia area. After finishing the 18 part docuseries, Jake moved back to Buffalo to be closer to family and happened to fall into the K9 Connection position! It’s been “dog”umentaries ever since!


Charles ‘Boogie Shorts’ Muto, ESQ. – Quality Control Manager

Charles has been with K9 Connection since its inception. He has worked his way through training to hold the prestigious title of Quality Control Manager. He takes pride in his stern evaluations of clients and the treats used in our training sessions. He can be found working at the front desk most days, but enjoys down time with his owners, as well as his human and canine siblings.