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 Link and Recent Behaviors

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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:27 am

Link is currently 21 months old, so to me he seems to be testing me like a teenager would. However I find it a little concerning that I've had him since 15 months and these behaviors have only popped up in the past couple months. I can't find the triggers, and its incredibly frustrating. I would like to have a dog trainer work with me so I can have someone from the outside give me their thoughts, however at the moment its not affordable so I figured I'd get some general advice for now.

Background: Born on January 25th, 2012. Adopted on April 24th, 2013. Neutered in May, 2013.
Exercise: He gets it. We go bikejoring a lot now since its colder and of course regular walks/runs.

First: Dog Park. We haven't gone in quite a while, but based off my previous experiences he is highly unpredictable. He is being dominant, more dominant than he was before. Any male dog that is larger than him, he is immediately off to fight. If a dog sniffs him, he snaps back. He doesn't try to hump, but he is trying to pin dogs and starts a snapping match when they don't obey. Solution to this is that I just don't go anymore and stick to private husky play-dates.

Second: With me. He is starting to get mouthy. Bites at my hands, nips my jeans. Starts growling and jumping on me when we're outside on leash. Mouths on my arm. Reaction to all these behaviors is either a muzzle grab or a back turned followed by a 'sit' command, eventually he does but I'm not sure if I should be doing more to let him know the behavior is unacceptable, or less? I always praise afterwards to let him know I am happy with him being calm.

Third: My pack/me. He often growls at Yuki or Cloud if they lay near him. Which, I can respect that if he's just telling them to mind his space, but not sure if it is something I should be concerned with. However today, I was sitting on the floor (pretty normal) and he happened to be by me so I started petting him, which I was met with a nice snap in the face. Never had that happen before, but I'm worried since there wasn't a growl, so I'm most concerned with the fact that he went straight to snapping at me.

People tell me be consistent, its just him being a teenager, which of course I can work with him and ride it out.
But I am worried about ignoring underlying signs and having a real issue on my hands if I let something progress.

I do understand that without having any videos, or describing body language very well, it will be very hard to pinpoint the issue. However I feel like it would be better to make the thread and reassure myself than to keep ignoring something that could possibly be wrong.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:09 am

Hi Megan,

Not sure how useful this will be, but i sometimes have the same issues with Gus. He is almost 10mths old. Neutered just about a month ago.

I've never seen him outright start a fight at the park, but I have seen him "fight back". This was before he was neutered, and he seemed to get targeted by other dogs. They would bark at him and just act very unfriendly towards him. Eventually, if i didn't get there fast enough to pull Gus away and just change his focus, he would react and put that dog in their place. Never hurt anyone. And of course, it was always with a smaller dog, so his reaction looked worse than it really was! I have found that daycare and joining our dogwalker on group hikes has helped with his socialization. He has always been really friendly. But i think the constant interaction helps with this.

For your second one, we are in that right now! For awhile, he had stopped with the mouthing and jumping. Then just 2months ago, he started this again! His mouthing is VERY gentle though, and he only does this when we come home. The jumping is also when we get home. Or when he sees ANYONE that he knows. We also turn and ignore him, and that works for that moment, but it doesn't really appear to be helping for future incidents!!

For your third one, was the snap in a mean way? Sometimes, if i bend over to play with Gus, he will do this snap at our faces. We don't understand it at all. His head will be kind of low, his ears back, and his face a bit forward. It doesn't appear to be aggressive or mean at all. He'll just kind of wave his face towards you, do an air-snap, and then turn his head away and start playing. I'm wondering if that is an invitation to play? Or just a way that dogs play with each other?
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:07 am

I think a dog snapping at the face, contact or air snap, needs to be dealt with immediately.  Just to great a chance that a child could get hurt.  Your best bet, I think, is going to be finding someone who is good with behavior to watch Link.  Throw a big loop, explain it's a safety issue and it's just started and I'm sure someone will offer to help for little or no cost.  Good luck, I hope the little boogers attitude improves.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:51 am

@TheBadGuppy wrote:
For your third one, was the snap in a mean way?  Sometimes, if i bend over to play with Gus, he will do this snap at our faces.  We don't understand it at all.  His head will be kind of low, his ears back, and his face a bit forward.  It doesn't appear to be aggressive or mean at all.  He'll just kind of wave his face towards you, do an air-snap, and then turn his head away and start playing.  I'm wondering if that is an invitation to play?  Or just a way that dogs play with each other?
Hi Maggie, thanks for the response. As for the snapping, I don't think it was play. His posture was very warning, as in 'stay away from me'. He seemed frozen, waiting for a sudden movement, with his lip still in a curl, so I just leaned away from him slowly and he laid his head back down.

@Hughie wrote:
I think a dog snapping at the face, contact or air snap, needs to be dealt with immediately.  Just to great a chance that a child could get hurt.  Your best bet, I think, is going to be finding someone who is good with behavior to watch Link.  Throw a big loop, explain it's a safety issue and it's just started and I'm sure someone will offer to help for little or no cost.  Good luck, I hope the little boogers attitude improves.
Hiya Hughie, thanks for the response. I also thought it needed to be dealt with, but I am not sure how to go about it. I've never told him not to growl, as I'd rather him growl than snap, so I'm not sure what made him progress to snapping right at me. Luckily there are no children in my household, no children in my apartment, so I think he has the perfect environment where I can work on his behaviors one on one. I am in a few training groups on face book so I plan on asking for more advice there and seeing if there is anyone local to me that wouldn't mind helping, but if I can't find anyone I plan on hiring a behaviorist after my car is fixed. It really bothers me that I can't figure out whats going on in his mind.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:57 am

This just applies to the third issue, the first two seems to be in a different category of behavior. I know you're pretty savvy and experienced, so I'm sure you've probably already done this, but have you ruled out a medical issue? If he was in pain for some reason, he may have snapped at you if you touched a sensitive spot.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:00 pm

@wpskier222 wrote:
This just applies to the third issue, the first two seems to be in a different category of behavior. I know you're pretty savvy and experienced, so I'm sure you've probably already done this, but have you ruled out a medical issue? If he was in pain for some reason, he may have snapped at you if you touched a sensitive spot.
I have thought about it. I want to get his hips and legs checked out, x-rays and all, as I feel that may play a part (his leg is where I had pet him). I've been searching around for a while as I've never been comfortable with my current vet for someone who will do the exam without charging an arm and a leg but still having trouble finding someone I can trust. What deters me is that he can run when we're bikejoring and show no problems so I'm not sure if it is a health problem or not, but I'm really hoping it isn't because I'd rather correct a behavior then have it be a medical issue. As of now, no it has't been ruled out yet.
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:55 pm

My immediate thought is pain. Mishka gets annoyed when the others get close to her, but her hips aren't good and I know she doesn't want to get knocked.

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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:12 pm

I am having the same issues with Mishka that you talked about in the second paragraph. He was doing so much better then all of a sudden, I can't even go in the backyard when he's out there because he will start jumping on me and "attacking" me. He's been biting my hands a ton more, when he had been not doing it. The bad thing is he doesn't stop if I turn my back to him and stay still. He'll just bite my butt and oh my lord does that hurt. I know I don't stay calm enough when he starts so now it's just become a game, but I've started having to tackle him to the ground and drag him to time out. After the wedding I'm going to bring him back to obedience class and also see about getting the trainer to my house to help with these issues. I know he's a teenager but it's getting out of control.

Good luck with your issues though.

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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm not entirely sure how valid my comments will be but reading through your scenario's I thought perhaps the first one could be related to the age at which he was neutered. I know you had no other option since you didn't have him when he was younger but I have come across male dogs who were neutered well after puberty that have retained their un-neutered male domineering behavior. The chemical reaction has already taken place in them and cannot be undone.

The second one I am personally having issues with as well, the one thing that I have noticed recently is that since we have started rally-o it has become less. The only thing that I can put it down to is him viewing me in a different role with our new activity together. When I am working with him my posture and attitude is substantially different than it is when I am at home, essentially I am "she who is to be obeyed" and honestly as ridiculous as it sounds he really responds to it. When I relax and rough and tumble with him though apparently I am fair game - although one command of "enough" in my strict mom voice and he quits lol. It almost seems that having a structured activity has helped him, especially since I have very clear expectations of him and he is constantly learning. Do you have any activities with Link other than the biking? Would it be worth looking into a class or something just to shake up his routine a bit? Is it just on the leash that he is a brat with jumping/biting? Does he approach you and do it or is it when you approach him?

I haven't come across snapping unless it was with a possessive or in pain dog so I can't really help there sorry. The only other thing I could think of was perhaps insecurity? Has anything changed for you lately, or have you noticed any change in the dynamics between the dogs?

I hope things get better for you!
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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:24 pm

I think you have good reason to be concerned.

The last one sounds like my lab. Yet, he is 12 years old and we know it is joint pain. He will growl and give warning, but does snap at loki if he lays on top of him or something. You can see he looks quick though to see who it is and doesn't do it with people. For us, he only grumbles if we lay on him wrong or touch him wrong. I would say he started getting sensitive around 9-10 and at that point he was still relatively active.

He may have snapped as he is getting in another mode that nipping people is ok as well. Loki is 7 months and still having some issues (getting better not worse). Yet, I think this is a bigger issue given he is over a year. If you have the resources, it may be helpful to call a behaviorialist into your house to see if any interactions in the house are causing the behavior. If you got from a rescue, then they may have resources to help as well.
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Dot
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:03 pm

If it is joint pain, do you think joring is actually the problem? I don't know, how long between you've started joring a lot and his snapping? Just tossing out ideas, really..
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:01 pm

@arooroomom wrote:
My immediate thought is pain. Mishka gets annoyed when the others get close to her, but her hips aren't good and I know she doesn't want to get knocked.
Since this has been tossed around a lot, I think I will save the money even before I fix my car to get him checked out. I really hope its not.. but I'd like to be sure.

@simplify wrote:
I am having the same issues with Mishka that you talked about in the second paragraph.

Good luck with your issues though.
Thank you for your input, I'm don't mind the first two as much as the third. I'm more happy he's jumping around like a toddler if it is pain-related.

@GeorginaMay wrote:
I'm not entirely sure how valid my comments will be but reading through your scenario's I thought perhaps the first one could be related to the age at which he was neutered.

Do you have any activities with Link other than the biking? Would it be worth looking into a class or something just to shake up his routine a bit? Is it just on the leash that he is a brat with jumping/biting? Does he approach you and do it or is it when you approach him?

The only other thing I could think of was perhaps insecurity? Has anything changed for you lately, or have you noticed any change in the dynamics between the dogs?
To answer these, as for the neutering he was dominant to begin with, got better, but then got way worse.

Activities? We do plenty of tricks, and fun mental games around the house. I was looking into him getting his CGC so we've been working on heeling, and going to my work a lot where he gets tons of attention from people which he loves. As for the class, money is kind of my issue right now, but after I get him checked out I want to ask a behaviorist or at least trainer come over if its not pain-related to help me figure it out. It could be boredom, but the fact that he's actually getting more attention and stimulation than he was a couple months ago, yet he's getting worse, makes me confused.

Insecurity? I think he's far from that. Overall he's a very confident dog, nothing has changed lately and the dogs are playing like normal.

@techigirl78 wrote:
I think you have good reason to be concerned.

The last one sounds like my lab.  Yet, he is 12 years old and we know it is joint pain.  He will growl and give warning, but does snap at loki if he lays on top of him or something.  You can see he looks quick though to see who it is and doesn't do it with people.  For us, he only grumbles if we lay on him wrong or touch him wrong.  I would say he started getting sensitive around 9-10 and at that point he was still relatively active.  

If you have the resources, it may be helpful to call a behaviorialist into your house to see if any interactions in the house are causing the behavior.  If you got from a rescue, then they may have resources to help as well.
I am getting more and more concerned its pain-related because thats sounds a lot like it, but there was no warning just a snap. And I do want to get a behaviorist as I mentioned in the first post but money is an issue for me at the moment. And he didn't come from a specific rescue unfortunately, just a personal re-home situation from a lady that couldn't keep him anymore and it was a big complicated situation.

@Dot wrote:
If it is joint pain, do you think joring is actually the problem? I don't know, how long between you've started joring a lot and his snapping? Just tossing out ideas, really..
Thanks for sharing Rhia, you may be right. We are going out a lot more frequently lately since the weathers been colder. And to be honest, he's not listening as well and doesn't seem as confident out in front like he was a few months ago.


So last thing to ask you all, a vet visit is definitely in order, so what should I check for? Just get an x-ray on the hips for now, and then if nothing comes up, x-ray the back legs? I have a suspicion its his hips or legs.. I've been thinking it for a while and I don't know why since he's never slipped or fallen but I will have to get it checked out to be certain.
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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:38 pm

My human society does free consults over phone or email with behavior specialists.  Not sure if yours has that option but mine was helpful at no cost when I had some questions.  That may be a free option to get some help.

Doms xrays are nearly perfect for 12 yr old, but vet could tell by his gait there was stiffness. I would explain his behavior and they will probably start with external exam and xray. They may give some anti inflamatory to see if improvement too.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:26 pm

@techigirl78 wrote:
My human society does free consults over phone or email with behavior specialists.  Not sure if yours has that option but mine was helpful at no cost when I had some questions.  That may be a free option to get some help.

Doms xrays are nearly perfect for 12 yr old,  but vet could tell by his gait there was stiffness.  I would explain his behavior and they will probably start with external exam and xray.  They may give some anti inflamatory to see if improvement too.
Thanks for the advice, I will try to contact the humane society here. My mushing friend is going to come over Sunday and she said she would check out Link's hips for me, as well as make sure his harness is fitted properly. She also has a vet she loves and recommends to me and I plan on taking Link there once I save up the money, she says they're pretty expensive but not over the top, which is just what I need. Quality service without getting ripped off.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:34 pm

Megan, is there a holistic vet around you??

Kennedy has hip/joint issues and the "normal" vets would never do an xray for me and told me that nothing was wrong with her. Went to my holistic vet and she told me she was way out of wack and told me what the other vets were probably avoiding telling me. She is going to be arthritic by 5. She gets cold laser therapy treatments and they have helped her in ways I can't even tell you.

Hope you get things figured out with him :/.
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:41 pm

Sheba&Kennedy wrote:
Megan, is there a holistic vet around you??

Kennedy has hip/joint issues and the "normal" vets would never do an xray for me and told me that nothing was wrong with her. Went to my holistic vet and she told me she was way out of wack and told me what the other vets were probably avoiding telling me. She is going to be arthritic by 5. She gets cold laser therapy treatments and they have helped her in ways I can't even tell you.

Hope you get things figured out with him :/.
Can't seem to find a good one around me, checked the sites and everything!! But I'm going to try out my friend's vet, she said they offer x-rays and I will spell it out to him if I have to that I want x-rays. My only wall I'm running into is usually hips aren't done until 2 years old? So I may have to wait until he turns 2 years to get the x-rays done. My friend's gonna look at him sunday, and I'm gonna take it easy on bikejoring with him for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:47 pm

They do plenty of "pre-lim" OFA screens, so they can do Link, I would think. You don't want to wait if something IS wrong with him. I hope nothing is really wrong with him. Have you gotten in contact with a rescue near you?? The Chinese Medicine vet I use isn't listed on the holistic vet site (can't remember the name off the top of my head..), and the only reason I found out about them is from posting on the local husky rescue page! Good luck, dear.
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Mobezilla
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:50 pm

Sheba&Kennedy wrote:
They do plenty of "pre-lim" OFA screens, so they can do Link, I would think. You don't want to wait if something IS wrong with him. I hope nothing is really wrong with him. Have you gotten in contact with a rescue near you?? The Chinese Medicine vet I use isn't listed on the holistic vet site (can't remember the name off the top of my head..), and the only reason I found out about them is from posting on the local husky rescue page! Good luck, dear.
Yeah, his 2-year birthdate is only 3 months away but I really do want to get a pre-lim done now. I just have a gut feeling now.. thats only getting stronger, that somethings wrong. He never snapped this way before, and like Rhia said there's a correlation between him being grumpy and exercise. I will ask my vet if they know of anyone who does pre-lim x-rays as I'm pretty sure they don't do that type of stuff and only do normal shots and neuters etc..
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:57 pm

Yeah they will do prelims. The only reason to wait would be if you need the official OFA report for anything (like showing/breeding etc.), which I know you aren't planning since he's neutered. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:52 pm

@wpskier222 wrote:
Yeah they will do prelims. The only reason to wait would be if you need the official OFA report for anything (like showing/breeding etc.), which I know you aren't planning since he's neutered. Smile
Yup. I contacted a vet a half hour north of me that people on a rottweiler forum swear by (happened across it on google). I emailed them since it was after hours, hoping to hear something tomorrow on an estimate.
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:48 am

I think you're doing the right thing getting him medically checked. It sounds like he's painful rather than being a brat Sad poor boy! I work at a doggie daycare and a vets office, so I have a HUGE background in both behavior and medicine lol Smile Our office accepts "care credit" - you should look into getting one! Its like a credit card that has 6 months no interest and not only do some vets offices use it, dentists and other places take it too... Just something to look into to help you out financially! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:10 am

@Rigbyjek wrote:
I think you're doing the right thing getting him medically checked. It sounds like he's painful rather than being a brat :(poor boy! I work at a doggie daycare and a vets office, so I have a HUGE background in both behavior and medicine lol :)Our office accepts "care credit" - you should look into getting one! Its like a credit card that has 6 months no interest and not only do some vets offices use it, dentists and other places take it too... Just something to look into to help you out financially! Smile
I will look into care credit, not sure if I'll get approved my credit is so/so I've only had one credit card that I cancelled when I lost it but I do have a car loan that I've been paying on time that should give me some good credit history. Still waiting for the vet to email me back, a friend of mine also asked me to ask them to do a laxity test which I will so will keep you all updated!
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:27 pm

Good luck! I hope he's okay. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:14 pm

@wpskier222 wrote:
Good luck! I hope he's okay. Smile
Thanks!

I got an email from the vet, they said about $310 for an OFA prelim. Although since another friend suggested to do the laxity test first, I emailed them back asking about that and hopefully I can get an appointment done within the next couple weeks!
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PostSubject: Re: Link and Recent Behaviors   Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:42 am

@Mobezilla wrote:

@wpskier222 wrote:
Good luck! I hope he's okay. Smile
Thanks!

I got an email from the vet, they said about $310 for an OFA prelim. Although since another friend suggested to do the laxity test first, I emailed them back asking about that and hopefully I can get an appointment done within the next couple weeks!
That seems like a lot. I got Dizzy's hip prelims, plus knees and lower back (seemed like about 10-12 films total) under anesthesia for $273, and everything here in the city is extra super expensive.
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