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post #201 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-09-2014, 01:23 AM
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Well, I learned two very important things today.

One: if you go to the hardware store, you can buy camo duct tape! I covered my green foam marker squares with them and now instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, they blend in like they're supposed to

Second: Soter will absolutely not track in the rain. No amount of coaxing, begging, pleading or hot dogs would get him to do anything other then huddle in abject misery

Hoping for a dry day tomorrow, we're now an entire lecture behind. I'm really worried that we're beyond the point of being able to catch up.
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post #202 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-09-2014, 01:57 AM
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Maiya and I went tracking for the first time this season; it's been months since we were out last time. Track was 780 yards. Aged for 2+ hours. Changes of cover, cross paths, etc. She did fairly well, finished with some coaxing and found all 3 articles. But I could tell she was tired (thus the needed coaxing) and so was I. So, decided to wait for a Fall TDX instead of trying to get in this spring. Last fall we were alt#1 for a test but did not get in. Felt better prepared then than I do now. In any case, looking forward to getting out there and having fun now that the weather is getting better.
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post #203 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 01:03 AM
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Wow, I had no idea how much fun and how much work this would be. Every time I have a spare minute we're going out to run a track.

Our biggest challenges so far have been finding good tracking spots and the weather. The weather is finally cooperating but the terrain still remains an issue. We don't have fields here and most large areas are moss not grass. We've found one half decent spot and may have two more but we have to get permission to use one and the other is a public park so finding a time without people or dogs is tough. For a town with a leash law there is a remarkable number of loose dogs luckily, it stays light pretty late now so we've been trying to get out around 9:00 or so. Less people and dogs at that time.

I was a bit concerned after seeing how some of the other dogs track. They are so very slow and they seem very calm. Soter is jumping around, straining at the harness. The other dogs take anywhere from 3 - 5 minutes to run a track. Soter takes just over one. He is so eager that he literally crawls down the track.

The instructor calls him frantic but apparently, according to her and our breeder this is a very good thing. He hits every single target every single time. Apparently he has drive, a lot of it . This boy LOVES to work and his focus is incredible. We had a couple of crows following us down the track, hopping right behind him, cawing away, he turned around once to check them out but otherwise just kept his nose down and kept working away.

I have some things to work on but the instructor said that overall I do a good job handling him. I was really relieved about that.

Coco isn't enrolled in the class but I'm tracking with her too. What a difference between mother and son. Coco is so calm and relaxed. She is slow but very methodical. She hits every target every time, nub wagging away. She rarely strays from the track and when does she comes right back to it.

I've had Dobes most of my life but never ones with any sort of drive at all. They are incredible. I think I'm addicted to tracking
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post #204 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 10:22 AM
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Both Ilka and Leo act like maniacs. Sounds like you are doing a good job with him, since he so desperately WANTS to track.


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post #205 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-17-2014, 12:54 AM
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Thanks Rosemary. I'm so glad Soter isn't the only maniac tracker
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post #206 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-17-2014, 05:33 AM
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Elsie does the crawling thing too, its great, makes her very easy to read on the track - it goes HERE mum!


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post #207 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 06:07 PM
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New to tracking

Thank you everyone,

Just read this whole thread and it was a terrific help as I am going to try tracking and have NO experience at all. Just got UD title on my four year old euro dobe bitch last month and hope to try shutzhund with her as she is from two IPO parents. No experience with that either.

I live in the USVI and will be training totally on my own the next several months and have to admit I was feeling completely lost until I read this thread and watched the videos you guys provided.

So far I have worked her three times before reading this thread and twice after.
The first times she was zipping along missing most of the hot dogs but kind of staying on the track. Yesterday, after watching the videos, I put food in each footprint and she still missed all of the food and and going way too fast compared to the videos. I had used kibble instead of hotdogs. This morning I was going to try with hot dog in each step. We crossed over yesterday's track and she started finding the bits of kibble in the first pad and then worked the whole track slowly forward each step and got all the kibble.

If I understand how to start:

1. Slow down (not her usual MO at all).
2. Sniff each footprint and keep her head down.
3. No circling or turning or air sniffing.
4. Food in every footprint for a very long time.
5. Train the find articles separately so she doesn't turn/look back.
(several good suggestions here how to do that)

This should keep us busy for some time. It was very encouraging when she found the old track and worked it slowly, each step and always going forward. When I started the new track this morning with the hot dogs she took off too fast at first then slowed down checked each step. It could be that I am using her UD command of "find it" which she responds to by taking off like a shot for the article pile. Maybe if I use "track" and hold her back to get her started slow or some different command she doesn't know?

Thanks again everyone! Know I'll have lots of questions soon.
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post #208 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 05:48 AM
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We're off today for our first introduction to tracking
CKC sanctioned event with a fun afternoon component for beginners to learn and try it out.

I'm excited, but getting the stank eye on why we're up so early on the weekend


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post #209 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 07:19 AM
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One week in:

Laying short tracks with one easy turn and wallet at end and food in every step.I am laying the track in the church and graveyard down the street. Freddie LOVES this game and now drags me down the road to get to the church. It's windy and dry here so the scent blows around. She always keeps her head down, works hard but can't seem to find the actual foot steps and food that easily. Do you think it would help if I aged the track a while to let the air scent dissipate? Also I have been letting her back track after we do the track. Is that a good idea?
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post #210 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 11:54 AM
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Challenges of tracking:

Keeping speed down and intensity of the search up.

Getting dog to work through problems and not look to handler for help.

Having a dog who has a "Must Do It" mentality without applying too much pressure. It is easy to stretch that rubber band too thin and have things snap. This is what happened to me last Spring in the weeks leading up to the National and regional competitions. I am still trying to work it out now. In this case my solutions ended up being worse than my problems. Now there is a glitch in that little computer that is kind of like an intermediate short in an electronic unit..Never knowing when it is going to re-surface.

Allowing the dog to track is the biggest key, and not getting in the way. I have to remember that the dogs nose is better than my eyes. Many people want to steer the dog and creates a dog who does not really track.
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post #211 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 03:45 PM
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Wow what a great day. After watching the ts/tdx do their tests we were set up with a buddy and taught how to lay a good track, and well... You all know I'm sure.

He took to it like a duck to water, nose down the entire time and just intent on the food and moving forward.

My helper laid a track for him once and a little confusion at the start but he was right into it.

He's now crashed hard on the bed snoring like a chainsaw. But what a great day, even if it was cold and rainy.


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post #212 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosamburg View Post
Challenges of tracking:

Keeping speed down and intensity of the search up.

Getting dog to work through problems and not look to handler for help.

Having a dog who has a "Must Do It" mentality without applying too much pressure. It is easy to stretch that rubber band too thin and have things snap. This is what happened to me last Spring in the weeks leading up to the National and regional competitions. I am still trying to work it out now. In this case my solutions ended up being worse than my problems. Now there is a glitch in that little computer that is kind of like an intermediate short in an electronic unit..Never knowing when it is going to re-surface.

Allowing the dog to track is the biggest key, and not getting in the way. I have to remember that the dogs nose is better than my eyes. Many people want to steer the dog and creates a dog who does not really track.
I've been holding her back and trying to help her find each piece of food. Maybe just let her go forward slowly and miss some of the food and not mess with her too much. She is keeping her head down and working hard, not air scenting.
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post #213 of 230 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
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I've been holding her back and trying to help her find each piece of food. Maybe just let her go forward slowly and miss some of the food and not mess with her too much. She is keeping her head down and working hard, not air scenting.
Yeah, helping doesn't help. About all you can do is make her more hungry. Right now the only time Cairo eats is when tracking. We are tracking every single day. 4 weeks ago we went back to basics, with food every 3 steps + articles. I am now in the process of fading the food on the track with just food at the articles. Her mind set is good now for tracking and does not seem to give up if she gets lost. Has not tried to come back to me for over 3 weeks. Royal Canin German shepherd kibble is perfect for training and tracking.
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post #214 of 230 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 05:39 PM
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We finally got our 2nd "UDX" pass - so now we have moved up to "WD" level of working trials, which includes a new level of track! Here are the regulations....

Leash Track: One and a half hours old. 800 m (minimum length). Track shall be laid
over broken ground. Layout of tracks shall be similar (as far as possible) for each dog.
One starting stake shall be used. Dog to pick up or indicate articles. Two articles
dropped on track (second article at finish). One article required to qualify. Articles
shall be of natural fibre and should be larger than search articles. If the dog goes over
the point where the tracklayer says the article was and the dog does not indicate or
pick up the article and the tracklayer cannot find the article, the dog must be credited
with the article points as though it was found by the dog. Articles should be placed on
a straight line, on a flat part of the track and not hidden or placed within 10 metres of
an obstacle or corner. Time limit 20 minutes.
Track 190
Recognition of articles 15x2 30
220
Total WD 350

Explanatory Notes: -Track should include such things as fences, hedges, gullies, etc.,
any of which track may be laid across.
-If possible leash track should be plotted on ground by trial manager and tracklayer
previous to trial. When judging is in progress, tracklayer should be present at the side
of judge to indicate exact line of track and position of article. Unless dog is in danger
of fouling another track, or judge considers dog to have lost track beyond recovery,
handler may recast dog at their discretion.


Our first WD level trial will be in November!


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post #215 of 230 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 05:41 PM
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And we're in level 2 tracking only trials now - first one should be in September!

Leash Track Level 2
Blind start. The start and finish points of a 25 metre line (may be an invisible line across
a corner or a length of fence) are to be indicated to the handler along which to cast their
dog and an article of cloth (at least 300mm square) handled only by the tracklayer will be
given to the dog to scent. Length of track: 600 - 800 metres. Age of track: two hours.
One cross track to be laid by another person other than the tracklayer – may be another
competitor - 30 minutes after main track is laid. Cross track to be laid a minimum
distance of 100 metres from start of track. Land: any type. Three articles: one at end of
track and the others at approximately equal distances apart on track. Dog must pick up
or indicate articles. Article size, placement and credit for articles not found to be as in
Level 1.
Time limit 25 minutes.
Track 200 points, Recognition of articles 15 points each, Total 245 points
Explanatory Notes: - Track should have a minimum of three changes of surface e.g.
grass, mud, gravel, concrete and should include obstacles that are not a danger to the
team such as fences, hedges, gullies, etc., any of which the track may be laid across.
Judge may in exceptional circumstances indicate to handler where the dog should be
recast.


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post #216 of 230 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 01:48 AM
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We're still in our tracking class, level two now. We've had more than a few challenges but we've finally got the hang of it and are making real progress.

Soter had stopped tracking for a while and was looking for the targets instead. I eliminated the targets altogether and just buried the hotdogs in the grass. That solved the problem and he's tracking like a champ now.

I didn't help matters, I've never done anything like this before and my line handling skills were non existent. I'm slowly getting better though.

We're up to 30 food drops, 4 gloves and we've moved on to varied spacing, between 4 and 7 steps between food drops.

I'm hopeful we'll be able to move onto the next level in August which is turns and changes of cover.
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post #217 of 230 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 11:28 AM
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We just started corners.
My handling skills are shite as well, doesn't help that since Tank busted my arm it doesn't work properly and I cannot hold the line the way the instructor recommends.

He loves to track, but as we are aging the track and taking more 'normal' steps he is more and more often bringing his head up. I've not decided if it is at times due to heat, wind conditions, or who knows.
I'm frustrated with myself more than anything.


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post #218 of 230 (permalink) Old 07-05-2014, 11:42 AM
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Ugh. we haven't been tracking in ages. I really need to get it in gear if I want to get these two certified in time for the November tests.


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Lily Dale- A Melody Unchained ETD PKD-T PKD-N ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
CA Speed Queen Leontine Von Washateria ETD D-CRO-Preliminary PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
~~Requiescat In Pace~~
Ilka Of Pear Orchard Cemetery BN RE CA CGC TKP ETD CRO-1 D-CRO-Preliminary NCO-1 PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L4 ~2009-2017~
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post #219 of 230 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 09:33 AM
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Had our best track to date. 350m, 20 min age, minimal food drops three corners (we're currently using arcs) excellent indication on the article.
He was quick and efficient I was super impressed and happy with his track this morning.

Things I have learned. He will not eat a meal at the end of a track don't even bother trying. He works best for his frisbee. Occasionally he'll accept a water toy at the end of a track but he wants his frisbee!

We're trying to find a different toy for the end of track at our instructors recommendation (tug type or something to keep him in closer instead if sending him away) To no avail.

He works incredibly for the frisbee, I mean if at the end of a track I have raw chicken/beef and his frisbee he will pick the frisbee every time.
Do I keep trying to find another toy? Or keep on with the frisbee? I'd prefer to just use the frisbee he knows when I pull it out the track is over, he's happy and excited to see it. I'm trying to take the advice of our instructor. With the other toys there is some mild interest but sometimes he continues to try and follow my scent. Almost as if without the frisbee he doesn't understand the track is over.


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post #220 of 230 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:18 PM
Get the bunnies!
 
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I would do what works - use the frisbee! Why stop?

Elsie's tracking is coming along nicely, done a few 2 hour old tracks in very mixed terrain and she is working well. The two biggest issues at the moment are my confidence in her when we have a blind (no start peg) start, and recognizing when she gets distracted from the track by bunny smells (she gets all crazy and frantic and her tails quivers haha!) and get her back on the job quickly


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post #221 of 230 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 12:18 AM
Get the bunnies!
 
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Have not updated in ages! Where are all you tracking folk?

We've not had a lot of success lately! In September we had our first attempt at level 2 tracking - what a failure! Mostly a lot of bunny hunting, and we were very unprepared for that sort of vegetation cover. Apparently everyone else was too as we only had 1 pass all weekend out of 24 tracks in total!

Next non-success was our first attempt at WD. Elsie was too busy hunting on her first track, by the time I got her tracking again we ran out of time, a shame as we carried on after the judge left and Elsie finished the rest of the track in about a minute with all articles and didn't lift her head once!! Second day track was really stunning and she worked well, but we missed both articles due to a series of unfortunate events!

Now it's my turn to try my hand at managing a trial - I am running a level 1 & 2 tracking trial in Canterbury high country. It is so very stressful! I have been losing a lot of sleep over it, but think I finally have it sorted. Has been good to train Elsie up at the grounds while going track planning, and it's really her sort of terrain... Dry with sparse cover and lots of surface changes, she loves it! Looking forward to the trial and hopefully a few more qualifications than the last one!


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post #222 of 230 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 12:20 AM
Get the bunnies!
 
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Oh and I am a "real" tracking person now - my partner got me some nice canvas gaiters for my birthday, so I can tackle that long grass and prickles now without coming back with bleeding legs! Instigaiter - Gaiter Selection - Clothing & Accessories


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post #223 of 230 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 08:32 AM
Got mutt?
 
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Oh, dear, I'm not sure I want to talk about my tracking (or lack thereof). I was like "Yes! School is starting back up, I'll be able to get back to tracking and walking the dogs!". Hah! My son had a difficult transition from elementary to middle school, and I was having to bring him home early (there were several days that he only made it an hour or so into the school day) a lot, and even pulled him out of school for a week. It's gotten better, thank goodness.

I really need to start back up with walking and tracking, now that things have settled down. Ilka and Leo will need a refresher course, and Lily will be starting from scratch.

I guess I might have to break down and buy some jeans (haven't worn them in over 10 years) and hiking boots for tracking on rougher than relatively short grass/weeds.


~~The Current Hellhounds~~
Lily Dale- A Melody Unchained ETD PKD-T PKD-N ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
CA Speed Queen Leontine Von Washateria ETD D-CRO-Preliminary PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
~~Requiescat In Pace~~
Ilka Of Pear Orchard Cemetery BN RE CA CGC TKP ETD CRO-1 D-CRO-Preliminary NCO-1 PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L4 ~2009-2017~
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post #224 of 230 (permalink) Old 03-21-2015, 10:53 PM
Got mutt?
 
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The girls and I are going to be taking this class Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - TR101: Foundation Tracking 1 at bronze in the upcoming session. I'd love to be able to take it at gold level, but that just isn't going to happen (unless of, course, I hit all 6 numbers on the Lotto). I'm hoping that going back to basics, as well as a different technique, will help "fix" Ilka, as well as help me not make the same mistakes that "broke" her with Leo and Lily.


~~The Current Hellhounds~~
Lily Dale- A Melody Unchained ETD PKD-T PKD-N ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
CA Speed Queen Leontine Von Washateria ETD D-CRO-Preliminary PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
~~Requiescat In Pace~~
Ilka Of Pear Orchard Cemetery BN RE CA CGC TKP ETD CRO-1 D-CRO-Preliminary NCO-1 PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L4 ~2009-2017~
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post #225 of 230 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 12:22 PM
Got mutt?
 
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Thumbs up Feedback on FDSA tracking class

I am absolutely LOVING the method taught by Lucy Newton in the FDSA class. It really seems to be working with my crew. I haven't been able to do as much as I'd hoped (got sick and once I started feeling better, we had a mini-monsoon season) but whenever we do manage to get out, all three of them are showing improvement. Ilka is nailing her tracks, Lily is starting to catch on to the whole idea, and even Miss Fluff-for-brains Leo is starting to not be as frantic on her tracks. Each dog has only done maybe half a dozen tracks since class started, but I am very happy with how they are doing.

If anyone has a chance to take Lucy's classes (or heck, ANY classes) with FDSA, I'd say "Go for it". Even taking at the bronze level and not getting any direct instructor feedback, I've learned more in this class than I did from all books and videos I'd been trying to teach myself from previously.


~~The Current Hellhounds~~
Lily Dale- A Melody Unchained ETD PKD-T PKD-N ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
CA Speed Queen Leontine Von Washateria ETD D-CRO-Preliminary PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr)/L1 GC GPS-NST OD-WD2
~~Requiescat In Pace~~
Ilka Of Pear Orchard Cemetery BN RE CA CGC TKP ETD CRO-1 D-CRO-Preliminary NCO-1 PKD-T PKD-N S-ADP-L4 ~2009-2017~
Lucky Rat Dog CGC ~2000-2014~
“Dance as if no one who is qualified to commit you is watching!”
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