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When Thobani Gasa took his puppy for obedience training a few years ago it was just for fun.Many townships in South Africa are notorious for gang-related violence but in Mpophomeni, near the southeastern town of Howick, pet dogs are helping lead the way to a more peaceful future.On a hot Friday afternoon with their dogs in tow, dozens of children filed neatly into the grounds of the Zamuthule primary school for the weekly training session.Eight years ago, volunteer dog trainer and retired teacher Adrienne Olivier started teaching children how to treat pet dogs.Vuyani Dube, 11, has been taking his dogs to Funda Nenja for just three months and already his family has noticed the change in his behavior.Dogs in the area have traditionally been used to protect properties from intruders or for hunting, said the project's community liaison officer Winnie Sangcosi, 61 .
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