Meet the Office Team at Music City Dog Training

John Van Olden – President/CEO

Canine Trade Group is the brain child of John Van Olden, a twenty-year veteran of the dog training industry. His roots are in the military, where he served as a policeman with a canine sidekick that he was in charge of training. After leaving the service, John continued pursuing his craft, presiding over the training company PAWSitive Solutions, and founding his own company, K-9 Advantage. He was also a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

His experience in helping people and dogs begin and repair relationships culminated in the idea to connect owners and trainers in a more efficient manner. Canine Trade Group aims to do just that. John handpicks every trainer in his elite network and then works to connect these trainers, who are located across the country, with dog owners in their area. It takes just one phone call or e-mail from the owner to get started.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager

Officially, Cristin is Canine Trade Group’s Operations Manager. Unofficially, she’s so much more than that. Cristin has an extensive background in training dogs for agility competitions, earning two Master Agility Championship (MACH) and attending two AKC National Agility Championships as well as numerous other titles.

Her total experience adds up to about ten years of competition training and plenty of time spent around dogs. But she didn’t quit there—Cristin also decided to educate herself more on the behavioral aspect of dog training, and, after seeing how a few techniques from Canine Trade Group trainers helped her own dog with his territorial tendencies, she became a firm believer in the CTG programs.

Nicole Zulkowski – Veterinary Relationship Manager

Nicole knew ever since she was a young girl that she wanted dogs to be part of her life and career. Throughout high school and college, she worked different jobs that involved animals. Graduating with a BS in Biology from Ursinus College, Nicole began to look for work within the animal care field, and was employed as a veterinary technician and also a dog daycare technician/handler. After working with many dogs with a wide range of behaviors, Nicole was inspired to learn more about how these behaviors form, and also how to treat them.

Canine Trade Group is thrilled to have hired Nicole into the office staff. Along with her extensive knowledge on canine behavior and psychology, she also shows great care toward dog owners who are looking for ways to solve their dog’s behavioral issues. Nicole undertook the same trainer course that Canine Trade Group’s trainers did so that she could better address client questions, dog issues, and guide everyone to the right training protocol that would suit their needs and goals.

When she’s not busy helping other people and their dogs, she likes to hang out at home with her two dogs, Willow (a Pitbull mix) and Brooklyn (a Boston Terrier/Pug).

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.