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125 East Chestnut Hill Road Montague, MA 01351


Animal Behavioral Consulting
Companion Dog Training

Elise McMahon has over 20 years experience in
the field of Animal Behavior and in teaching owners how to teach their pets. 

Veterinarian Endorsed 

Elise, dog trainer, canine behaviourist, Montague, Amherst, Greenfield, ShNoath, Hawley, Northfield, Orange, Pelham, Sundlerland, Pioneer Valley, Turners Falls, Millers Falls, Dog training classes, private instruction, Whately, Worthington 

"I have trained at other facilities and found better instruction and more individual attention here at Canine Head Start." J. Freidman

Elise McMahon is a member of APDT and ABS. She is finishing her dissertation at the University of Massachusetts in canid behavioural ecology and has worked with both domestic dogs and wild canids since 1991. Training  methods used in class and in private consultations are based on animal behaviour learning theory. Classes are kept small with the goal of teaching the owners how to successfully teach their dogs.

Elise McMahon
Montague | Canine Head Start |  413-367-0094


We strive to provide complete care for our clients. Learn more about all the services we provide.
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Online Forms
Our client forms are available online so they can be completed in the convenience of your own home or office.

Meet McMahon

Elise has been working in animal behaviour with both domestic and wild canids since the early 1990s.  Her work has included projects on a number of captive and wild canids including Darwin's foxes in Chile, crab-eating foxes in Venezuela, African wild dogs at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, and grey wolves at Wolf Park, Battle Ground, IN. 

She began working with domestic dogs in Philadelphia, PA where she worked at the Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in the Behaviour Clinic. She held a position there for 2 years during whish she co-developed a Puppy Problem Prevention Program with Lois Hall. During this time Elise was also studying Animal Behaviour and Learning Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as working with well known author and behaviourist, Steve Lindsay. Elise and Anne Marie Forde developed the Puppy Head Start program which is implemented in classes at Canine Head Start. 

Prior to moving to Massachusetts where she pursues her Ph.D. in Animal Behaviour, Elise worked as an animal behaviour consultant in Philadelphia, PA.  Since 1996 Elise has been located in Montage, MA. After completing her fieldwork on Chilean foxes, she opened her training center and began providing group classes, as well as individual evaluations and one-on-one training sessions.

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"I have trained at other facilities and found better instruction and more individual attention here at Canine Head Start." 

- J. Friedman  / Montague, MA