Meet the Office Team behind Rose City Dog Training in Portland 

John Van Olden – President/CEO

For the last twenty-five years, John Van Olden has had a front row seat to the ever-changing dog training industry. His career with dogs began in the military, and after building an impressive resume which includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Canine Professionals and starting the country’s very first in-home dog training franchise, he established Canine Trade Group. CTG strives to connect frustrated dog owners with adept in-home trainers, all of which have gone through an intense screening process and rigorous certification program.

To John and his trainers, there is so such thing as a lost cause. No matter how aggressive the dog or difficult the situation, John and Canine Trade Group continues to provide hope to hopeless cases.

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Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager 

Cristin is an active, energetic member of the Canine Trade Group team. Hiking with her husband and three dogs keeps her busy outside of work, and helping dog owners across the country find professional, experienced trainers keeps her busy as CTG’s Operations Manager. Dogs have always been an important part of Cristin’s life, and few can understand the struggle from every point of view—the owner, the dog, and the trainer, better than she.

Cristin trained dogs in agility for over ten years, earning several titles and championships, but when she began experiencing behavior problems with her Border Collie, Sike, she did her research and learned a thing or two about training for behavior problems as well as competition. Now, Cristin has made it a personal and professional goal to show people that even the toughest training goals can be reached. All it takes is commitment and the know-how of a Canine Trade Group trainer.

She currently lives with her three Border Collies, Sike!, Elsa and Phineas.

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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.

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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.


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