Meet Our Office Team at Surf’s Up Dog Training 

Learn more about the office staff who works behind the scenes at Surf’s Up Dog Training. The office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm EST. Give us a call if you want to learn more about our San Diego Dog Training programs! 

John Van Olden – President/CEO

John Van Olden is dedicated to the dog training industry. He discovered his passion for the care and training of dogs while serving as a military policeman with a K-9 companion. After completing his service, he delved deeper into the industry, serving as president of the U.S.’s largest in-home training company, PAWSitive Solutions, and starting his own company, K-9 Advantage, which was the first dog training franchise in the world. He was also a founding member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

John’s twenty-plus years as a canine professional led him to found Canine Trade Group, a network of experienced, professional in-home trainers, designed to make finding and choosing a trainer easier for frustrated dog owners. All trainers have been trained and certified by John himself, and they are currently available in seventeen states across the U.S. When you choose a CTG trainer, you’re choosing a reliable, knowledgeable professional dedicated to helping you and your dog.

Cristin Ellis – Operations Manager

Cristin is Canine Trade Group’s Operations Manager, and she is also a CTG success story. Despite her ten years of experience in training dogs for agility competitions, she found herself at a loss when she found herself with a Border Collie with aggression, anxiety, and resource guarding.

By using the same techniques taught and practiced by CTG trainers, she was able to get her new dog’s behavior under control. Now, he is more responsive and reliable and a much calmer addition to the family.

Cristin uses her experience and expertise to help other dog owners transform their own pets. Any behavioral issue can be fixed! Give Cristin a call to day to find out how CTG can help you.

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.