Meet the Office Team behind Excelsior Dog Training in Queens, NY

John Van Olden – President/CEO

Over the last twenty years, John Van Olden has become a staple in the dog training industry. He first fell in love with the world of canine professionalism when he was eighteen and training to be a military policeman with a canine companion. He was responsible for keeping and training the dog, and after he left the service, that knowledge and passion stayed with him.

John went on to preside over two training companies, PAWSitive Solutions and K-9 Advantage, and become a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals. His latest and greatest achievement is the Canine Trade Group company, through which he teaches and certifies dog trainers and maintains an exclusive network of trainers. This network spans across the United States and into Canada and consists solely of experienced professionals that have been handpicked by John. By calling a single number, dog owners can be connected with a certified, experienced, and capable trainer in their area.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager 

Cristin is John’s trusty sidekick and an accomplished trainer in her own right. Cristin has three dogs of her own and spent overten years training dogs for agility competitions. She is excited to be a part of the Canine Trade Group team because she’s witnessed just how effective the training is for herself.

Although Cristin knew plenty about performance training when she came to CTG, she found herself in over her head with her Border Collie, Sike!. He had severe fear aggression and had “nipped” several people. Using Canine Trade Group methods, she was able to modify Sike!’s behavior and create a happier environment for herself and her pups.

Now, Cristin spends most of her time in the CTG offices, connecting dog owners with local trainers and helping them get their dogs the assistance they need.

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.