Meet the Staff at Buckeye Dog Training in Cleveland


John Van Olden- President/CEO

John Van Olden is the president of Canine Trade Group, a network of in-home dog trainers that strives to connect overwhelmed dog owners with certified, professional, and adept canine professionals in their area. John’s trainers have a passion for the dog profession and share a creed of commitment, individuality, and working to improve the canine/human relationship.

John knows just what to look for when choosing trainers because he’s spent the last twenty years in the thick of the training industry. His expertise began with training dogs in the military and evolved to founding K-9 Solutions, the first dog training franchise in the world, as well as presiding over PAWSitive Solutions, the largest training company in the U.S. He was even a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

Now, he’s using his wealth of experience to help mend and strengthen canine/human relationships across the country.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager

Cristin has been training dogs for agility competitions for over a decade. Her trainees have received numerous AKC Agility Championship titles, but she never considered training for behavior issues until her own dog, Sike!, began exhibiting aggression, anxiety, and resource guarding. She educated herself via Canine Trade Group’s trainer courses and used that knowledge to create a calmer relationship for both Sike! and herself. Her journey in dog training eventually led her to the office of Canine Trade Group, working as the Operations Manager and helping other dog owners see just how beneficial working with CTG trainers can be.

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.