Meet the Office Team at Hampton Roads Dog Training 

John Van Olden – President/CEO

John’s career in dog training began when he was just eighteen years old, serving as a military policeman with a canine partner. His passion for helping animals and their owners/handlers continued past his youth and into his career as the president and CEO of K-9 Advantage, the president of PAWSitive Solutions, and his service as a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals. His latest and most exciting project is Canine Trade Group.

Canine Trade Group’s purpose is to connect dog owners across the country with effective, professional in-home dog trainers. CTG trainers are certified, qualified, and don’t believe in cookie cutter solutions to canine behavior problems. Dog owners who use the CTG network to connect with their trainer will find a local, skilled canine professional and a fellow dog lover who is committed to them and their pet.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager

Cristin has been around dogs her whole life and currently owns three Border Collies, named Sike!, Elsa and Phineas. She’s been training dogs in agility for over ten years, and her knowledge of the canine psyche has earned her several titles, including two AKC Master Agility Championship titles with her Golden Retrievers, Rocky and Hunter.

Since coming to work for CTG as the Operations Manager her knowledge of behavioral training has grown, and she was able to use the CTG in-home training methods to help Sike! overcome his anxiety, fear aggression, and resource guarding. She is a trainer, a client liaison, and a CTG testimonial.

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.