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 – 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 three 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, Training Mentor 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.


Abby Rogers – Dog Trainer – Board and Train – Office

Abby has always loved animals but growing up did not have any of her own. She got her fix from friend’s pets & a ton of Animal Planet. When she started college she began as Pre-Vet, but quickly realized that veterinary medicine was not a good fit. She nearly changed paths entirely, but decided to give the Animal Behavior, Ecology, & Conservation Program a chance before moving on. It was through this program & related courses that she took an interest in Animal Cognition. At the end of college, Abby decided that dog training was the way she wanted to use her degree. She has worked in multiple dog boarding, daycare, & training roles before finding her way to K9 Connection. Outside of training, she enjoys board games, hiking with her German Shepherd Mika, playing volleyball, & going snowboarding!

Kim Kocol – Dog Trainer – Board and Train, Private Lessons

Kim has loved animals her entire life and has worked with all types of animals from birds of prey to reptiles she likes to stay well rounded in the animal world. Kim started out grooming in the dog world and quickly wanted to get into training, when she saw an opening with us she immediately took the opportunity to continue her education and sharpen her training skills. Her dogs Johnny and KK are her partners in crime, they enjoy finding cool new hiking spots and going to Buffalo’s local dog friendly patios and events to proof their good behavior together! In her time away from dogs Kim loves photography, swimming and cheering on our Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse Team.

Alanna Greco – Dog Trainer – Board and Train, Private Lessons, Group Classes,Training Mentor

Alanna started her journey with dogs when she attended a highly rated school for professional dog trainers, where she earned two certifications with her yellow lab Millie. Since then she has strived to help owners have better relationships with their dogs. She has also begun to teach puppy and semi-private group classes at K9 Connection. She continues to attend seminars and workshops and is eager to expand her knowledge as a dog trainer. In her free time you can find her dock diving with Millie as well as training for upcoming AKC obedience trials.

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: 3 dogs, Aurora, Atticus and Aires, and several cats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing a variety of crafts, and being outside with her dogs!


Lexi Chase – Enrichment Trainer

Lexi’s whole life she’s always had an interest in dogs. When growing up she constantly had a companion by her side at all times and it was an easy choice to major in animal behavior at Canisius College, where she will be graduating in spring of2022. She found K9 Connections because of my dog, Kylo, who needed some training. Now her and Kylo love taking agility lessons on their spare time. She loves to do agility, foraging activities, pack walks and much more with the enrichment dogs.

Chelsea Doell – Enrichment Trainer

Since joining the team at K9 connection, Chelsea has found a passion in exploring the benefits of K9 Enrichment for daycare dogs at the facility as well as her own dogs.  Chelsea currently enjoys spending time with her senior great dane Jaxx, binging re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as painting and embarking on travel in her free time.

 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.