SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — They’re known for vicious and sometimes deadly attacks that have earned pit bulls a reputation as a violent breed.

But a new class for dogs and their owners is looking to change that perception.

The idea of nine pit bulls in a small space may sound frightening, but this class promises to bring insight and techniques to a breed that can be easily agitated.

Lyn Hernandez expects fearful glances when she takes Chico to the dog park.

“Some people will shy away once you say pit bull mix they’re like, oh!” she said.

Currently her backyard is home to three pit bulls including Chico. She says the breed isn’t vicious, it just gets a bad rap.

“I don’t think pit bulls are the scariest it’s just a perception,” she said.

Hoping to change that kind of behavior and the reputation of that breed, the Sacramento SPCA is offering a six-week training course for pit bulls.

Instructor Val Masters stresses the breed has to be trained carefully and recognizes they often get in the wrong hands.

“Unfortunately a lot of people that want them are not the kind of people that raise them responsibly, so they often don’t socialize them, train them and keep them isolated,” she said. “if it gets out into the world there can be a problem.”

Hernandez brought Chico to learn the positive reinforcement approach that avoids harsh treatment that can cause aggression.

While Chico can never change his breed, he can overcome the stereotype by being well-behaved.

“I’m hoping that we get a good idea of what pit bull behavior is, and that he’ll be a good ambassador after this class,” she said.

The courses will be offered every few months and range from $65 to $99.

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