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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We got to meet Phoenix when she was 4 weeks old along with the other pups from the litter. I let the breeder know that we wanted the runt of the litter simply because of the size of mom and dad. We even had the chance to go to their puppy reunion where every year they invite their pups out to their property for a day of play and food. So we were able to see how the now one year old puppies behaved. They all acted just like I expected, fun, exuberant, and full of energy. It was a great day. One thing that my wife noticed is that all the pups that were there were all males. I will get to why that is important a bit later.

I went back at 6 weeks old to hang out with the pups again and spent about 2 hours there watching them behave and interact. But I did notice that our little Phoenix really wanted nothing to do with any of us. That should have been my first red flag about her temperment. So on to 7 weeks 5 days old which is when I went to pick up our new addition to our family. Mind you, this is my 4th rottie that I have had in my lifetime. My 1st 3 were the most spectacular dogs I have ever had the pleasure to own.

I went solo to pick her up, my wife, son, daughter and Keisha (5 year old chi/rat terrier) went to our local dog park that has many miles of paved trails so we could introduce her to her new family on neutral ground. That seemed to go ok. Although as I look back at it now, Phoenix really could have cared less that there was another dog and new people walking with her.

Now to our first few nights in the new home which we totally decked out and made puppy proof for her. We just let her explore until she collapsed from being tired, let her sleep and when she woke, she played with a few toys and back to sleep she went, typical puppy behavior of which I expected. The first night in the crate was, well, horrible. We put the crate in our room by the foot of the bed so she would know we were there, She wined literally all night long. I even got on the floor and tried to sleep next to the crate so she would know she was not alone. Night 2 was even worse. I have never heard a puppy scream like she was. So I let her out on her leash and laid on the floor attempting to comfort her. Only problem with that was she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. Same for night 3 and then on night for we just couldn't take the screaming so we relocated her crate to the living room, set my alarm so I could get up every hour to let her out. That seemed to be working a little bit better but the pup still seemed to have so much disconnect from us. It was seriously heart breaking to see my new lil pup not even so much as to want to look at us.

On to week 2 in our home. Training has been going ok, house breaking, sit, stay, all that fun stuff, and enrolled in Puppy Kindergarten. She is a rockstar might I say in class. But the major issue we have had since day one is biting and I don't mean nipping. She full out bites us. I have used your suggestion of the bonker, worked for about 2 minutes, then no response from her at all. I even so much as contacted the breeder, explaining my concern about the biting. His response was to correct her hard and if she doesn't get it, make it harder. Well I know from previous experience with this breed, that just don't work. I even had him and his wife come to the house to observe how she behaves. His wife suggested we swap puppies for the one they had left but He was very reluctant for that, wanting us to give it some more time. She was biting them, us, everything, this was at 11 weeks old. So I decided to give her my all and stop doubting her. Lets fast forward through to now.

Her training has gone quite well, she totally enjoys agility obsticles, no jumping yet. Her sit and down stays are 90% spot on. Wait for food til released, totally house broken. Recall is not all that good in the yard, but at class I would say 80%. We have plenty of yard for her to play in, 2 acres and she has seen it all since day one. We lease walked her for months until I got the fencing done. But now if I don't have the long line on her, she just won't come until I go get her attention or until I run away from her. Then she follows. So I would say her training, which is daily, is going well. Now to the major issue we have. BITING. We cannot figure her out. No form of correction works. She will bite for attention, she will bite when playing and now it is to the point where I am concerned for our little dog, my daughter and even us. I can handle her but my wife and kid can't when she gets in her moods. My wife walks out to the chicken coop for chores and takes Phoenix with her and she will just jump up, grab her by her forearm and bite. She has left indentations in her arm through a winter coat and two shirts. The one person this dog has not bitten yet was me. Yeah she nips every so often when she wants attention, of which I ignore, but tonight I was sitting on the living room floor playing with her like I normally do. I have one of the long, supposedly indestructable fabric dog bones designed for tug that we use. I let her pull for a bit and when the pulling gets past the strength I want her to pull at, which isn't much, I tell her to leave it and she does, almost immediately. I will do that every couple of minutes while we are playing. Tonight though, after maybe 5 minutes and 6 or 7 leave its, she when from 0 to 60 instantly. She jumped up with her paws on my shoulders and started jawing the back of my neck. I grabbed her leash, she is almost always leashed in the house because of her going after our little dog, and she latched on to my forearm. And I mean hard. She didn't puncture my skin but holy shit did the crushing force hurt like hell.

I truly do not want to give her back to the breeder, she is a wonderful pup. But we just don't know what to do about the biting. It's mean biting when she does it, not herding, not play, full out im gonna hurt you biting. Before I made the decision to actually give her up, I'd figure what you all had to say about it.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties you have had with Phoenix. It seems from reading your past threads that she started right from when you brought her home. How old is she exactly now? and how much does she weigh? Is she still showing signs of deafness? in one ear? in both?

Some pups are born that are just not wired right. You said the other female littermate died not too long after birth? Why did you pick her, and why did you want a runt? Honestly, any dog that goes after their own family member like that...would not be in my home. I've fostered many Rottweilers, raised some Rottweiler puppies, adopted rescue Rottweilers.....but have not been attacked by any of them. I've had some lip lifting, and some growling...but full on bites or attacks...NONE.

It sounds like your wife, kids and other dog...are not enjoying Phoenix either. Why don't you call your breeder, and have them keep her for a couple of weeks...and see if they can change things around? It could be Phoenix? or it could be that she is just not a good fit for your household? You could also try to get a behaviorist in...and see what they advise.
Let us know how things go.
 

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FWIW, my first Rottweiler was the runt of the litter. He was the most happy go lucky fella anyone could have asked for, and a genius. By the time I lost him to cancer at about three years, I had taught him silent hand commands that included crawling. I also lost two other male Rottweilers to cancer that were not runts of the litter and not related, to my first Rottweiler.

What I am wondering about Phoenix: if she might have had some sort of birthing problems and whether or not the breeder can can give detailed information about her birthing process. It is possible some brain damage was done while she was being born or if the sack stayed on her too long after birth.

Many years ago, my grandad found a colt caught in the birthing sack when he went to the barn to check on the mare. The colt became unpredictably dangerous as it grew but it was always little, ill-mannered issues. The last straw was when he reared straight up with me, I bailed off, he turn around and ran over me with intent to harm -- that is not the nature of a normal horse. Granddad's only thought was the colt had been trapped in the sack long enough to cause enough brain damage to allow the horse to be fine most of the time but dangerous a small percent of the time with no visible triggers as to when that might happen.

The colt was to have been the replacement stallion for his aging sire but, instead my heart broken grandad had to send him away to a facility where he knew the colt would be humanely PTS'd.
 

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I agree about the birthing problems. A lack of oxygen while in the womb, can cause problems later. The pup also has some deafness...which is not a common problem in Rottweilers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
She is now 7 months old and weighs 60 lbs. Her hearing eventually did get better but I still don't believe it is where is should be. She is just totally scared of pretty much everything. Having the breeder take her for a couple of weeks is out of the question. They have another litter that is 3 weeks old now and have 3 females on site. I picked the runt, well, because I have always picked the runt. There is a lot of things I have noticed since getting her about the parents and her siblings. All the males are great, ALL of the females are not. I have personal contact with 3 of them and all 3 of them are dog aggressive. I wonder if there is just something that has been given to the pups from the moms. At the breeders home, the mothers cannot be together as they will go after one another.
 

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Dog aggression....is highly unusual in pups that are so young. Rottweilers are known for same sex aggression...meaning they don't like dogs of the same sex, but do fine with the opposite sex. Dog aggression can be inherited, and that is why good breeders do NOT breed dogs that are dog aggressive!! They also learn aggression from the dam. Most dogs start same sex aggression at sexual maturity.

How is your pup with male dogs? How does the breeder keep the females from going after one another in their home? Are they kept separated? Kenneled, crated,etc?

It does sound like you need some professional help. At 7 months of age, there are still things that can be done to change things around. I would ask your vet for a name of a behaviorist, or at least a trainer that works with large breed aggressive dogs. If she is afraid of everything...it sounds like she has weak nerves. This makes it hard for her in everyday life. Can you imagine living every day scared???
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We do know there is still time to turn her around but we just really think there is something not wired right. At the breeders the females are kept in separate rooms, let out at different times, fed at different times and so on. It breaks my heart to know that there is a distinct possibility that we are going to give her up but the scariest part about that is I do not want her to end up somewhere where she ends up getting put down because of this behavior. And giving her back to the breeder may cause more issues than not, it is in our contract not to have her spayed before 1.5 years of age. Well we did it anyway because I know she does not need to be bread. Ug, this dog.
 

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Since you are willing to go above and beyond, you might want to think outside all of the normal boxes with Phoenix.

You might want to find a behaviorist that is well acquainted with the holistic approach, or better yet a holistic vet who is certified in acupuncture, among other things. That can include chiropractics, massages, herbs, along with a change in diet.

While I have never had to go to such depths with my dogs, I still have two special needs horses that need the sort of help a qualified holistic vet can provide.

To keep it simple for non-horse people, one horse had anger management & severe angst issues, plus he has environmental allergies. My equine chiropractor is a DVM who took the holistic route and specializes in agility dogs. She also is certified in acupuncture which can be REALLY beneficial under the right circumstances.

This horse did such an about-face in attitude after diet change, some temporary herbs added to the feed pan, and some professional massage work, even my non-horse husband wondered if I traded the horse for a kinder look-alike:)

One of the biggest things to turn him around was putting him on magnesium Malate, NOT magnesium oxide. Dogs can also be treated with magnesium for certain issues but upon reading, it appears their borderline for toxicity is more narrow than that of a horse. I would not arbitrarily add magnesium to a dog's diet but I would ask the opinion of vet:)

With your dog having hearing issues, a holistic vet might be able to help you with a training and diet program that could be a huge benefit over the long haul:)

IMO, you have nothing to lose by at least speaking with a holistic vet:) Best wishes for a successful turnaround of her:)
 

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Hi Boneyard, I just want to say that my girl Bella (now almost 8 yrs old) was a biter from the start too. The first time I picked her up she went for my throat. I had to really keep my emotions under control with her. Still when she was around 4 months old she seemingly overnight became almost downright vicious! I know how the bite feels even from a puppy. I does hurt a lot! So my puppy had turned into a real a-hole and I didn't know how to deal with it.

The rest of my family just wanted to get rid of her. Take her to the pound. To me that would be shoving my "problems" off on to someone else. Also, I was determined to not give up on her. I bought training courses, took her to puppy classes but we had to take private classes because she was dog aggressive too.

I just kept looking for and reading all the training advice I could find for a "problem dog" like mine was and working with her as much as I could to get her to trust me. Eventually she finally realized her place in the family and we all learned how to live together in harmony. Of course, I am still 100% responsible for feeding her, walking her, etc.

Good luck with Phoenix. I hope you can find the answer that will help you to do what you need to help her fit in to your home.
 

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We do know there is still time to turn her around but we just really think there is something not wired right. At the breeders the females are kept in separate rooms, let out at different times, fed at different times and so on. It breaks my heart to know that there is a distinct possibility that we are going to give her up but the scariest part about that is I do not want her to end up somewhere where she ends up getting put down because of this behavior. And giving her back to the breeder may cause more issues than not, it is in our contract not to have her spayed before 1.5 years of age. Well we did it anyway because I know she does not need to be bread. Ug, this dog.
So I take it if the breeding females are all dog aggressive...none of them have been titled or shown, or have any obedience or working titles?? This is why good, ethical breeders title (Champion,Sieger) and add working or obedience title their dogs...so they train, and work with them and understand their temperament...and make sure they have the right conformation and temperament to be used for breeding. These dogs have most likely never been off the property?


Things will likely get worse once Phoenix goes into heat. They get moody....and some are really nasty with other dogs around. She should be coming into heat soon. Get some professional help. Try to get things turned around with her. It may take awhile. I always think of owning a dog should be a pleasure....not a constant "project"...and worry. Some dogs just need more training and consistency and some dogs just are not wired right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I take it if the breeding females are all dog aggressive...none of them have been titled or shown, or have any obedience or working titles?? This is why good, ethical breeders title (Champion,Sieger) and add working or obedience title their dogs...so they train, and work with them and understand their temperament...and make sure they have the right conformation and temperament to be used for breeding. These dogs have most likely never been off the property?


Things will likely get worse once Phoenix goes into heat. They get moody....and some are really nasty with other dogs around. She should be coming into heat soon. Get some professional help. Try to get things turned around with her. It may take awhile. I always think of owning a dog should be a pleasure....not a constant "project"...and worry. Some dogs just need more training and consistency and some dogs just are not wired right.
No I don't think the females have ever been off the property, nor Doug, the papa. And I know for a fact there has been no formal training for any of their dogs.
Phoenix actually just got her stitches out from her spay. We had that done 2 weeks ago. If we do end up rehoming her, I wanted to be sure no one would ever breed her. We have a trainer coming out to the house tonight to observe and see whats really going on. It is just so tough, last night my wife and I took her outside in the back 40 to run and play. Everything was going so well, then boom, she comes around the corner of the pole barn and latches on to my hand. This is the hardest she's bit me yet. Once she let go she grabbed my other arm. Playtime over. I go back in the house and not 30 minutes later she bites my wife for telling her to get off the couch with a bit of collar persuasion. ug
 

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Now, things are starting to make sense. Sadly it sounds like the breeder is a BYB. Just because the dogs are AKC registered, does not mean that they are well bred. Temperament is so important with this breed...and if the dogs you are breeding have poor temperaments and have never been tested...you get what you get.

Glad to hear that you are getting a trainer in to help. First thing first...is get her off of the couch, beds, etc. This is a privileged spot and must be earned. Pups with 'attitude' must stay on the floor or their own dog bed. Do some reading about 'NILIF ' (nothing in life is free)...and start with that right away. Let her drag a short leash around the house, and even when she goes outside. Do not try to grab her collar. The leash will help to control and guide her where you want. Make her work for everything...it's basically manners....saying "please" and "thank-you"...for what they want. You need to put the leash on...they must sit quietly. You open the door to take her out...she "sits" and waits till she is given the release command. She needs her meals...she "sits" and waits...till given the "ok" and allowed to eat. Do this throughout the day...all day. She needs all of her movements controlled by commands. This is a none abusive way to start getting control back without getting bit. This can often be a pushy, dominant breed....and it sounds like she may have pushed her way to the top. Now she thinks she is in charge....and you are going to have to change things. A much more firmer attitude with her....leadership is what is needed. Firm but fair. Control her world...crate her if you have to. Hopefully things will change...and she may surprise you .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's the odd part about all this. Yes she did come from a byb. As far as living life with the leash and commands thats how it is everyday of our lives. She sits until released to go out, but is hesitant to come back in. Feeding is super awesome. Tell her to sit and wait. She will sit there until told ok, even with our little one already eating. Tell her to place, which is her cot, she will sit there even with toys out on the floor until told to move. we do not allow her on the couch although she will try to get up there when our little on is. But once we tell her off, she normally jumps right down. Even going to bed is easy, Phoenix go to your room and she does. Last night it was just one of her episodes of biting. thats the part we just cannot figure out. She will go from being the sweetest lil pup to a demon.
 

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The NILIF does work, it has to apply to everything they do all day everyday until they have earned a little easing of the rules but give an inch they take a mile, as they are smart and strong headed.
Bite inhibition training would be useful, there are some decent guides on the internet. It works and is well worth spending time on it.
Get her tired as often as possible, keep a rope in your hand when playing and direct her to the rope anytime she comes to you.
You can use it to train, wait/leave/get it/pull etc commands really quickly, for months when i came home i lifted the rope and put it in my pocket around the house as it felt like she might strike at any time and even play biting/mouthing gets boring fast not to mention painful, but knowing i had the rope meant she would want it first and it became my tool of choice.
The actual bite inhibition needs to go along with the rope as it doesnt matter how hard she bites the rope but clearly your hands are another matter.
Quite quickly they learn that even if they miss the rope and catch your hand they know to release the bite immediately.
Also the rope is your toy to interact with her, it is not her toy, she doesnt get to keep it. This keeps it interesting for her and keeps its value high.
 

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I am reading all these things to deter serious biting -- with my jaw dropped. Not at the deter advice but the fact that biting is such an issue.

I don't want to hi-jack this thread but I have two questions:

1. Is this a female Rottweiler thing? I had three male Rottweiler's from three different blood lines and I NEVER EVER had biting issues with any of them.

2. I laid my third Rottweiler to rest with lymphoma in 2009. He was a rescue without papers so I am guessing he was around ten. He was rescued when Inlived in SoCal, my other two Rottweiler's were each from Ohio and PA.

Given he was my last, he was -~10 and that was ten years ago --- has breeding deteriorated to where bad or unpredictable dispositions have become the rule rather than the exception?

3. My current Rottweiler is a female and will be two years in March. I do notice when I say no, she studies me a lot harder than the males ever did.

Rottweilers are the best at cold-staring someone down. This little lady is better at the cold stare than the males ever were but she is polite about it. She has never shown an inth of aggression, never offered to bite and is very careful of where her mouth is when we play with a toy.

Much seems to have changed in ~20 years, in the era my Beau-b-Beau was born?
 

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I am reading all these things to deter serious biting -- with my jaw dropped. Not at the deter advice but the fact that biting is such an issue.

I don't want to hi-jack this thread but I have two questions:

1. Is this a female Rottweiler thing? I had three male Rottweiler's from three different blood lines and I NEVER EVER had biting issues with any of them.

2. I laid my third Rottweiler to rest with lymphoma in 2009. He was a rescue without papers so I am guessing he was around ten. He was rescued when Inlived in SoCal, my other two Rottweiler's were each from Ohio and PA.

Given he was my last, he was -~10 and that was ten years ago --- has breeding deteriorated to where bad or unpredictable dispositions have become the rule rather than the exception?

3. My current Rottweiler is a female and will be two years in March. I do notice when I say no, she studies me a lot harder than the males ever did.

Rottweilers are the best at cold-staring someone down. This little lady is better at the cold stare than the males ever were but she is polite about it. She has never shown an inth of aggression, never offered to bite and is very careful of where her mouth is when we play with a toy.

Much seems to have changed in ~20 years, in the era my Beau-b-Beau was born?
All puppies bite. That's how they learn about the world. Rottweiler puppies seem to bite...but even harder. Often as they get older, and finish teething...they are still biting. This is when trouble starts! You have a 7 month old pup that is close to 70 lbs that is still jumping up and nipping....and now that nipping is turning into biting. It takes training, and not allowing the biting to continue. Part of that is teaching biting inhibition, and teaching them to have a soft mouth.

I'm not sure if it's a male, or female thing? I've had some mouthy puppies....they grew out of it with some work and training. It's the same with dogs jumping up on people...people allow it, it becomes a habit...and then you have a 100 lb dog greeting people jumping up on them!!

Honestly, I think because the breed is not as popular anymore...there are less BYB's now...and less Rottweilers found in shelters and rescue. The BYB's have gone onto other breeds like the Cane Corso. With poorly bred dogs....you can end up with real sweethearts, or nasty, unstable dogs...it just depends??
 

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That's the odd part about all this. Yes she did come from a byb. As far as living life with the leash and commands thats how it is everyday of our lives. She sits until released to go out, but is hesitant to come back in. Feeding is super awesome. Tell her to sit and wait. She will sit there until told ok, even with our little one already eating. Tell her to place, which is her cot, she will sit there even with toys out on the floor until told to move. we do not allow her on the couch although she will try to get up there when our little on is. But once we tell her off, she normally jumps right down. Even going to bed is easy, Phoenix go to your room and she does. Last night it was just one of her episodes of biting. thats the part we just cannot figure out. She will go from being the sweetest lil pup to a demon.
How did your meeting with the trainer go??
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How did your meeting with the trainer go??
This guy is a rockstar. Within 5 minutes of being in the house and begin nipped 3 times he had her sitting by his feet without any unwanted movement. He spent just over an hour giving us tools to be able to cope with her behavior and begin to change it. He did suggest Composure Pro once a day right before I typically come home to help calm her nerves. We will give his guidance a shot and see how she progresses.
 

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This guy is a rockstar. Within 5 minutes of being in the house and begin nipped 3 times he had her sitting by his feet without any unwanted movement. He spent just over an hour giving us tools to be able to cope with her behavior and begin to change it. He did suggest Composure Pro once a day right before I typically come home to help calm her nerves. We will give his guidance a shot and see how she progresses.
Glad that you found some improvement! Sometimes having another set of eyes on our problems helps us to see. What are some of the things that he recommended?? There may be other members here that could use some help. I'm going to look up Composure Pro...to see what that is. Anything that helps to get back on track with her.
 

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Glad that you found some improvement! Sometimes having another set of eyes on our problems helps us to see. What are some of the things that he recommended?? There may be other members here that could use some help. I'm going to look up Composure Pro...to see what that is. Anything that helps to get back on track with her.
It was quite interesting and surprising when he got to our home. I invited him in and of course Phoenix gets all super exited. He just stood my our center island and said nothing, didn't look at her or anything. She jumped up on him a few times and nipped his pants and shirt 3 times. He was counting. I put her leash on her and handed it to him. She jumped again and he gave a sharp quick jerk on the leash and yelled no. This happened 2 more times and boom, she's sitting at his feet looking up at him. He was a lot more forceful than what I expected but it worked. Into the living room we went so he could see the interactions we get when we are in there. Phoenix was starting to get wound up again and she jumped and nipped him. He actually swatted her with the leash and caught her back legs, this happened one more time in a 2 minute span and then she came and sat by me, like hey dude, why you smackin me with this thing. He suggested we use something a bit heavier than her leash. from that moment on Phoenix was a different pup. He would just stand there talking to us as she was watching him. At one point she actually crawled over to him looking for direction/affection. Of course he gave it to her and she just rolled over but that was not what he wanted. He wanted her to come to him and sit down, not lay down. Every time she would lay down, he was stop giving her attention until she sat. Once she did he would give her a few quick pets on the head.

Here we are a week later and even being gone for a few days the kids had to handle her. No issues, no biting, just being a good dog for them. He also suggested that when company comes over she stays in her crate for about 15 minutes and we need to have our company sit at the island on the stools which are up high. Then let her out so she can sniff and realize other people are in the house. We had the chance to do that last night and wow, she came out sniffed for a few and left them be. Then when we had them get up she came back just to see what was happening with the movement and there was no jumping, no nipping. Just acting like a pup should. So we will just keep on keeping on doing what he had suggested and see how she progresses.

One thing that did concern me a bit last evening when I had her out in the back yard playing with a ball, she would give me that blank stare without her nub moving. Kind of freaky but I didn't let her move me with her stare. I moved up to her which broke that stare and back to playing we went.
 
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