Meet the office team at Big Friendly Dog Training in Oklahoma City!
John Van Olden – President/CEO
John Van Olden has two decades of experience in dog training. His career in canine professionalism began with training dogs in the military. Soon, he became a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals, the owner of K-9 Advantage (the first dog training franchise in the country), and the president of PAWSitive Solutions (the largest in-home training company in the country). Today, he is the President and CEO of Canine Trade Group.
Canine Trade Group’s goal is to connect owners of aggressive or rambunctious dogs with skilled in-home trainers. John has guided, screened, and approved trainers across the country for the opportunity to be included in the CTG network. John’s years of training and industry know-how lets clients feel confident they’re receiving help from the most talented trainers in their area.
Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager
Cristin has been training dogs in agility for twelve years. She currently has three Border Collies named Sike!, Elsa, and Phin. Sike! was Cristin’s first dog to display major behavioral issues like resource guarding, anxiety, and aggression, so she began studying training methods, expanding her knowledge base from agility training to behavioral training.
After becoming Canine Trade Group’s Operation Manager, Cristin had the opportunity to work beside John Van Olden and learn even more about how the canine mind works. She’s an avid supporter of CTG’s methods and can attest to the training’s effectiveness from personal experience.
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.