Meet the Office Staff at James River Dog Training

John Van Olden – President/CEO

There are few who understand canine behavior as well as John Van Olden. He has excelled in the world of canine professionalism by using his skills and experience to improve the relationship between owners and their dogs across the country. His experience with dog training began as a young man serving in the military. In the last twenty years, he has served as the president of two dog training companies, and he was a founding member of the Internationals Association of Canine Professionals.

John’s latest and greatest venture is Canine Trade Group, a company that works to connect trainers across the country with dog owners in need of some guidance. All trainers are professional, certified, and experienced in the areas of canine history, psychology, and effective in-home training methods.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager

 Cristin is the Operations Manager for Canine Trade Group, which means clients who call CTG’s toll-free number may very well find themselves speaking with her. Cristin is an accomplished trainer herself, with ten years of experience in canine agility training, so clients can be sure they’re speaking with someone who understands the challenges that can come with letting man’s best friend become a part of the family.

Cristin’s knowledge of canine behavior was enhanced after starting with Canine Trade Group, and she used the in-home training methods taught by CTG trainers to help with her own dog’s behavior problems—resource guarding and fear aggression.

Nicole Zulkowski – Veterinary Relationship Manager

Ever since she was a child, Nicole knew that she wanted dogs to be involved in her life and her career. She attended Ursinus College and graduated with a BS in Biology, aiming to work in the animal field. All throughout high school and college, Nicole worked various jobs involving animals. Later after graduating, she worked as a veterinary technician and as a handler at a dog daycare. It was here that her interest in dog behavior came to full fruition, and began seeking opportunities in the dog training industry.

Nicole found Canine Trade Group and joined their office staff, talking to owners about their dog problems and guiding them to the right training program that would address all their needs and training goals. She has studied the dog training course that Canine Trade Group’s trainers take, which has built her understanding and experience in complex canine behaviors.

She lives happily with her two dogs: her Pitbull mix named Willow and a Boston Terrier/Pug mix named Brooklyn.

Dr. Karen Usselman V.M.D. – On Staff Veterinarian Consultant

Dr. Usselman is originally from western New York, attended Cornell University and then the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia.  She graduated in 1996 and joined Brenford Animal Hospital in May 1996.  She is currently a partner with the practice. 

Dr. Usselman enjoys working with dogs and cats.  She is particularly interested in internal medicine, ultrasonography, behavior and dentistry.  She serves as the treasurer of the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association and has taught in the Delaware Technical College Vet Tech program.  Dr. Usselman is married to Dr. Jeff Booth and has two children, three dogs and a cat to keep her busy at home.