Elise McMahon has a Ph.D. in animal behavior, and she has been working with both domestic and wild dogs since the early 1990s. She began studying domestic dogs in the behavior clinic of the Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. She held a position there for two years and co-developed the Puppy Problem Prevention Program with Lois Hall. During that time, McMahon was also working with a local trainer, Steve Lindsay. Prior to earning her degree, she was a private animal behavior consultant. After completing her fieldwork on Chilean foxes, McMahon opened a training center and began providing both private and group classes, as well as individual evaluations and consultations.