Pit Bull Group Outings Are Changing the Breed’s Reputation

When Rudy walks into a room, people sometimes get nervous—he’s an almost 80-pound pit bull.

But Rudy and his owner, Kelly Perry, are part of Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners, or LARPBO, a group trying to change the public’s view about pit bulls one pack walk, training session and competition at a time.

“A pit bull is not a ferocious beast. It’s not a magical unicorn,” said Perry, LARPBO’s dog sports coach. “It’s just a dog.”

LARPBO offers cheap weekly group training sessions in public parks around Los Angeles. They also offer one-on-one training, boarding, advance classes and pack walks.

Because of the breed’s bad reputation for being aggressive or even violent, pit bull-type dogs have the highest numbers of intake at shelters, according to the ASPCA. Of these, only 15 percent are adopted and 40 percent are euthanized. Almost 10,000 pit bulls have been euthanized in Los Angeles since 2012 alone, according to LA Animal Services.

LARPBO aims to change the perceptions that land these dogs in shelters.

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