Effective Training Methods for Aggression towards Other Dogs in Lhasa Apsos

It’s not uncommon for Lhasa Apsos to display aggression towards other dogs, but it can be a worrying and frustrating behavior for their owners to deal with. Thankfully, there are several training methods available that can help address this issue. However, it’s important to first understand the root causes of their aggressive behavior, as well as how to prevent it from escalating. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types and causes of aggression in Lhasa Apsos, prevention tips, and various training methods that can be used to modify their behavior.

Understanding Aggression in Lhasa Apsos

Understanding Aggression In Lhasa Apsos
Learning about aggression in Lhasa Apsos can be both confusing and concerning for owners of these adorable pups. Recognizing and understanding the different types of aggression and what triggers them is key to addressing this issue. Lhasa Apsos can display aggressive behavior towards other dogs, humans, or both, making it crucial to address these behaviors promptly. In this article, we will explore the various types and causes of aggression in Lhasa Apsos and provide tips on prevention, training methods, and when to seek professional help. Understanding the root of the problem is essential to finding the solutions that work best for each individual Lhasa Apso, so let’s dive deeper into the causes and types of aggression. To learn about preventing aggression, check out our article on socialization techniques and tips.

Types of Dog Aggression

Dog aggression is a serious issue that affects many breeds, including the Lhasa Apso. It’s important to understand the different types of aggression that dogs can display so that you can identify the problem and address it in the most effective way possible.

1. Territorial Aggression: This type of aggression occurs when a dog feels that its territory is being invaded. This can include the home, yard, or even their owner’s personal space. Lhasa Apsos, in particular, can be quite protective of their owners and their homes, which can lead to territorial aggression.

2. Fear Aggression: Fear aggression is seen when a dog is scared and feels threatened. When a Lhasa Apso is afraid, it may display aggressive behavior to protect itself. Fear can be triggered by a variety of things, including loud noises, unfamiliar people, or other dogs.

3. Dominance Aggression: Dominance aggression is seen when a dog tries to establish itself as the alpha dog. This can include growling, snapping, or even biting to assert themselves. It’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader and ensure that your Lhasa Apso knows that you are in charge.

4. Protective Aggression: Protective aggression is seen when a dog feels that its owner or pack is being threatened. Lhasa Apsos can be quite protective of their owners and may display protective aggression if they feel that their owner is in danger.

5. Social Aggression: Social aggression is seen when a dog is meeting new dogs or people. Dogs that are not socialized properly may display social aggression to protect themselves from unfamiliar situations. It’s important to socialize your Lhasa Apso properly so that they feel comfortable in different situations.

Identifying which type of aggression your Lhasa Apso is displaying is essential to implementing the right training techniques to address the behavior. If you want to read more tips on how to prevent aggression in Lhasa Apsos, please visit our article about Lhasa Aggression Tips. And if you want to learn more about common triggers of aggression in Lhasa Apsos, check out our article about Lhasa Aggression Triggers.

Causes of Aggressive Behaviors in Lhasa Apsos

Aggressive behaviors in Lhasa Apsos can result from various factors. In some cases, aggression can be a result of poor breeding practices or genetics, but in most cases, it is a learned behavior.

1. Fear and Anxiety: Lhasa Apsos that have had negative experiences with other dogs may become fearful and anxious around them. They may then lash out in aggression to protect themselves.

2. Lack of Socialization: Dogs that have not been properly socialized at a young age may view other dogs as a threat, and may react aggressively towards them.

3. Territorial Instincts: Lhasa Apsos have a strong territorial instinct, and may view other dogs as a threat to their territory.

4. Resource Guarding: Some Lhasa Apsos may show aggressive behaviors towards other dogs in an attempt to protect their food, toys or even their owners.

5. Health Issues: Pain or discomfort can lead to aggression in dogs. Lhasa Apsos that are in pain or suffering from an illness may become aggressive towards other dogs as a means of self-protection or to keep them away from their painful areas.

It is important to address the root cause of aggression in Lhasa Apsos before training them. A visit to a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues can also be helpful.

Lhasa Aggression towards dogs is a serious issue that should not be ignored, especially if the aggression is affecting the dog’s quality of life or causing harm to other dogs. Understanding the causes of aggression is the first step towards effectively addressing it.

Prevention Tips

Prevention Tips
As a Lhasa Apso owner, your goal is to ensure that your furry companion is always happy and safe around other dogs. However, it’s not uncommon for Lhasa Apsos to exhibit aggressive behaviors towards other dogs, which can be concerning and dangerous. Luckily, there are several prevention tips that you can implement to keep your Lhasa Apso calm and friendly around other dogs. By taking the necessary precautions and utilizing the right socialization techniques, you can create a safe environment that will prevent aggressive behaviors from occurring. Let’s take a look at some prevention tips that you can start practicing today.

Choose the Right Socialization Techniques

Socialization is an essential process in the upbringing of Lhasa Apsos. It helps them learn how to interact with other dogs and humans. However, it is crucial to choose the right socialization techniques to prevent aggression towards other dogs. Here are some techniques to consider:

  • Early Socialization: Start socializing your Lhasa Apso from a young age. Introduce them to other dogs they are likely to encounter in their adult life. This will help them develop a friendly attitude towards other dogs.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats, praise, and toys to reward your Lhasa Apso when they behave well during socialization. This will encourage them to exhibit positive behavior when they interact with other dogs.
  • Supervised Socialization: Always supervise your Lhasa Apso during socialization. This will help you identify and correct any aggressive behavior before it escalates.
  • Gradual Socialization: Introduce your Lhasa Apso to other dogs gradually. Start with calm and friendly dogs and progress to more energetic dogs. This will build their confidence and reduce their anxiety towards other dogs.
  • Professional Training: Consider enrolling your Lhasa Apso in obedience and socialization classes. This will give them the opportunity to interact with other dogs in a controlled environment and learn from a professional dog trainer.

Remember that socialization is an ongoing process, and it is essential to continue exposing your Lhasa Apso to other dogs throughout their life. With the right socialization techniques, you can prevent aggression towards other dogs in your Lhasa Apso and help them become well-adjusted and friendly companions.

Training to Prevent Aggression

It is important to train Lhasa Apsos to prevent future aggressive behavior towards other dogs. Here are some training methods that can be used:

Training MethodDescription
Positive ReinforcementThis training method involves rewarding Lhasa Apsos for exhibiting good behavior with treats, praise, and other positive reinforcement. The idea is to encourage good behavior and discourage aggressive behavior.
Counter-conditioning and DesensitizationThis method involves gradually exposing Lhasa Apsos to other dogs in a controlled environment. The goal is to get them to associate other dogs with positive experiences, like treats and playtime, rather than negative experiences, like fear and aggression.
Clicker TrainingThis method involves using a clicker to signal to Lhasa Apsos when they have done something good. They are then rewarded with a treat or praise. This is a way to reinforce good behavior and discourage aggressive behavior.
Behavior Adjustment TherapyThis method involves using a gradual training program to modify your Lhasa Apsos’ behavior. It involves rewarding your dog for staying calm in the presence of other dogs, and gradually introducing them to other dogs to help reduce their aggression.
MedicationSometimes, medication may be necessary to help reduce Lhasa Apsos’ aggression towards other dogs. This is often used in cases where the dog is highly aggressive or has a history of biting. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best medication for your Lhasa Apso.

It is important to note that training to prevent aggression must be consistent and ongoing. Lhasa Apsos need to be trained and exposed to other dogs on a regular basis. Pet owners should also be patient and consistent in their approach, as it may take some time for Lhasa Apsos to understand what is expected of them. Additionally, training should be conducted in a safe and controlled environment to avoid any further negative experiences with other dogs.

Supervision and Management

Supervision and management are crucial in preventing aggressive behaviors in Lhasa Apsos. Here are some tips on how to effectively supervise and manage your pet:

  • Keep them leashed: Always keep your Lhasa Apso on a leash when going for a walk or stepping out in public. This way, you can easily control their movements and ensure their safety as well as the safety of other animals and people around.
  • Avoid tense situations: Do not expose your Lhasa Apso to situations that can make them aggressive, such as large crowds or aggressive dogs. Instead, choose parks and walking areas where you know you won’t run into these situations.
  • Identify triggers: Look out for behaviors in your dog that indicate they are triggered to be aggressive. For instance, some dogs may get aggressive when they come across familiar dogs, strangers, or loud noises. Once you identify the triggers, you can avoid them and prevent aggressive behaviors.
  • Separate them: If you have more than one dog, make sure to separate them during feeding times, playtime, and bedtime. Provide them with their designated space and toys to avoid potential conflicts.
  • Train them: Train your Lhasa Apso well so that they can understand basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘stop.’. If they are on the verge of displaying aggressive behavior, these commands can keep them calm and focused on you.
  • Monitor their activity: Keep an eye on your Lhasa Apso’s activity, especially during playtime. If you notice any signs of aggression, separate them from other animals and people, and attempt to calm them down.

By following these supervisory tips, you can avoid tense situations with your Lhasa Apso and prevent aggressive behaviors from becoming a regular occurrence. Remember, prevention is the best way to address aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos.

Be Aware of Their Body Language

It is crucial for Lhasa Apso owners to be aware of their dog’s body language as it can be a telltale sign of their mood and potential aggression. Here are some important things to look out for:

  • Stiff Body: A stiff body could indicate that your Lhasa Apso is feeling anxious or frightened.
  • Growling: Growling is a clear sign that your dog is feeling upset or angry. This is often an early warning sign of impending aggression.
  • Showing Teeth: If your Lhasa Apso is showing their teeth, it is a sign that they are feeling threatened or aggressive. This is often accompanied by growling.
  • Direct Eye Contact: Direct eye contact can be a sign of aggression, especially if it is paired with other cues like growling, showing teeth, or a stiff body.
  • Tail Position: Pay attention to your dog’s tail position. If it is raised high, it often indicates confidence or excitement. However, if it is tucked between their legs, it could indicate fear or anxiety.

Understanding your Lhasa Apso’s body language is important as it can help you identify triggers for their aggressive behavior. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to remove your Lhasa Apso from the situation and provide them with a calm, safe space until they calm down. By being aware of your dog’s body language, you can help prevent potential aggression and keep your Lhasa Apso happy and healthy.

Training Methods

Training Methods
As a Lhasa Apso owner, dealing with aggression towards other dogs can be frustrating and scary. While prevention techniques can help, it’s important to also train your pup on how to respond appropriately in situations that trigger their aggressive behavior. In this section, we’ll explore various training methods that can be effective in helping your Lhasa Apso overcome their aggression towards other dogs. From positive reinforcement to medication, there are different approaches you can take depending on your dog’s specific needs and behavior triggers. Let’s dive in and explore these methods together.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is one of the most effective methods for addressing aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos. This training technique involves rewarding good behavior with treats, toys, and praise to encourage the dog to repeat the desired action.

The steps for positive reinforcement training to address aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos include:

  • Firstly, identify the behaviors that trigger your Lhasa Apso’s aggressive response towards other dogs. This could be growling, barking, or lunging.
  • Next, determine the treats or toys that your Lhasa Apso loves the most as a reward for good behavior. You can also use verbal praise and petting to reinforce the positive behavior.
  • Start training in a controlled environment, such as a quiet backyard, with a well-behaved dog that your Lhasa Apso is familiar with. Start with a distance that doesn’t trigger aggression and gradually reduce the distance as your Lhasa Apso becomes more comfortable around the other dog.
  • When your Lhasa Apso exhibits good behavior, reward them immediately with treats, toys, or praise.
  • Repeat the training in different environments and around different dogs to encourage your Lhasa Apso to generalize good behavior towards all dogs.
  • With consistent positive reinforcement training, your Lhasa Apso should start to associate good behavior with rewards and will be more likely to exhibit the desired behavior in the future.

It is important to avoid reprimanding or punishing your Lhasa Apso for aggressive behavior towards other dogs. This will only reinforce the negative behavior and may make the problem worse. Instead, focus on rewarding the desired behavior and redirecting their attention away from potential triggers.

Some important considerations for positive reinforcement training include:

  • Using high-value treats or toys that your Lhasa Apso loves the most
  • Being consistent with the rewards and praise for good behavior
  • Avoiding triggering situations until your Lhasa Apso has learned to behave calmly around other dogs
  • Being patient and allowing time for your Lhasa Apso to learn and change their behavior
  • Working with a professional dog trainer if needed to ensure you are using the training technique effectively.

Positive reinforcement training can be a highly effective method for training Lhasa Apsos to stop aggressive behavior towards other dogs. This training technique encourages desired behaviors and is a humane way to teach your dog to learn new behaviors.

Counter-conditioning and Desensitization

Counter-conditioning and Desensitization are two effective training methods that can help address aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos.

Counter-conditioning involves changing your dog’s negative perception of other dogs by pairing their presence with something positive, such as treats or toys. This helps to create a new, positive association with other dogs, replacing the negative one. For example, if your Lhasa Apso reacts aggressively towards other dogs on walks, you can try feeding them their favorite treat every time they see another dog from a distance. This will gradually help them associate the presence of other dogs with something positive.

Desensitization involves gradually introducing your Lhasa Apso to the trigger that causes them to become aggressive towards other dogs, starting with a distance where they don’t react and gradually reducing the distance over time. This helps them become less sensitive to the trigger and more relaxed in the presence of other dogs. For example, if your Lhasa Apso reacts aggressively towards other dogs when they’re at a distance of 20 feet, you can start by keeping them at a distance of 30 feet when other dogs are around. Gradually reduce the distance over time as they become more comfortable and are no longer reactive.

Counter-conditioning and desensitization work best when done together. The idea is to gradually expose your Lhasa Apso to the trigger that causes them to become aggressive and create a positive association with it. This helps to reduce their anxiety and fear, leading to a reduction in their aggressive behavior.

It’s important to remember that this training method requires time, patience, and consistency. You should never force your Lhasa Apso to interact with other dogs or push them beyond their comfort level. Always work at a pace that is comfortable for them and be sure to reward them for good behavior.

Here’s a table summarizing the key points of counter-conditioning and desensitization:

Training MethodHow It WorksTips
Counter-conditioningPairing the presence of other dogs with something positive to create a new, positive association.Use high-value treats or toys, and start at a distance where your Lhasa Apso is comfortable.
DesensitizationGradually exposing your Lhasa Apso to the trigger that causes them to become aggressive and creating a positive association.Start at a distance where your Lhasa Apso is comfortable and gradually reduce the distance over time. Never push them beyond their comfort level.
CombinedUsing both counter-conditioning and desensitization together for maximum effectiveness.Be patient, consistent, and reward good behavior. Never force your Lhasa Apso to interact with other dogs.

Counter-conditioning and desensitization are effective methods for addressing aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos, but they require commitment and consistency. With time and patience, you can help your Lhasa Apso overcome their fear and anxiety towards other dogs and develop positive associations.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is a type of dog training that uses a clicker to establish a positive association with a particular behavior. This technique is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason: it’s effective, humane, and fun for both the dog and the owner. The clicker is a small device that makes a distinct sound when pressed. When training a Lhasa Apso, the clicker is used to mark the exact moment that the dog performs the desired behavior. This signals to the dog that a reward is coming, which reinforces the behavior and increases the likelihood that the dog will repeat it in the future.

The Benefits of Clicker Training for Lhasa Apsos

Clicker training is especially effective for Lhasa Apsos who may have a tendency towards aggressive behavior. This method allows the owner to capture and reward positive behaviors, while ignoring and redirecting negative behaviors. It also helps to build trust and strengthen the bond between owner and dog, as the dog learns to associate the clicker with positive reinforcement.

Getting Started with Clicker Training

To start clicker training your Lhasa Apso, you’ll need a clicker and some small, tasty treats that your dog loves. Begin by clicking the clicker and immediately giving your dog a treat. Repeat this several times until your dog begins to associate the sound of the click with the reward.

Next, choose a behavior that you want to train your dog to perform, such as sitting on command. Wait for your dog to sit, then click the clicker and immediately give your dog a treat. Repeat this process several times, gradually introducing the verbal command “sit” until your dog learns to associate the behavior with the command.

Advanced Clicker Training Techniques

Once your Lhasa Apso has mastered basic obedience commands, you can move on to more advanced clicker training techniques. For example, you can use the clicker to shape behaviors that are not yet fully developed, such as loose-leash walking or coming when called. You can also use the clicker to teach your dog tricks, such as rolling over or playing dead.


Clicker training is a highly effective and humane training method for Lhasa Apsos. With patience, consistency, and plenty of positive reinforcement, your dog can learn to associate good behavior with the sound of the clicker, and become a happier, better-behaved companion.

Behavior Adjustment Therapy

One technique that can be helpful in addressing aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos is Behavior Adjustment Therapy (BAT). This technique focuses on teaching the dog to make their own positive choices in response to the stimuli that previously triggered their aggressive behavior. Here are the steps of Behavior Adjustment Therapy that a dog owner can follow:

  • Identify triggers: First, you need to identify the specific situations, events, or objects that trigger your dog’s aggression towards other dogs.
  • Set up controlled situations: Once you know the triggers of your dog’s aggression, you need to set up controlled situations that simulate them. For example, if your dog is aggressive towards other dogs when on walks, you might want to set up a controlled environment in which you can control the distance and proximity to other dogs.
  • Observe your dog: As you expose your dog to the controlled situation, you need to be cautious and observe your dog’s reactions carefully. Note down any signs of aggression or discomfort your dog exhibits.
  • Interrupt the behavior: When your dog starts showing signs of aggression, you should immediately interrupt the behavior to prevent it from escalating. You can use a distractor such as a treat, toy or sound to distract them.
  • Reinforce good choices: When your dog makes positive choices towards other dogs, such as approaching them calmly, reward them heavily. You can use treats, petting, praise, or anything else that your dog finds rewarding.

Behavior Adjustment Therapy takes time, patience, and consistency, but it can be effective in addressing aggression towards other dogs in Lhasa Apsos. Always remember to prioritize the safety of both your dog and other dogs.


When it comes to aggressive behavior in Lhasa Apsos, medication is usually the last resort. However, in certain cases, medication can be a helpful addition to the training methods. It’s important to note that medication alone will not solve the problem, but it can make the training process more effective. Here are some medications that may be recommended by a veterinarian:

AnxiolyticsThese medications help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. They can be useful for dogs who are anxious in social situations and those who have separation anxiety.
Tricyclic AntidepressantsThese medications work by altering the chemical balance in the brain. They can be effective in reducing aggressive behavior in dogs, but they have potential side effects.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)These medications work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, which can help regulate mood and behavior. They are often used to treat anxiety and depression in dogs.
BenzodiazepinesThese medications can cause sedation and reduce anxiety. They are sometimes used to treat aggression in dogs, but they can also cause side effects such as drowsiness and loss of coordination.
AntipsychoticsThese medications are sometimes used to treat aggressive behavior in dogs, but they are generally considered a last resort. They can have serious side effects and should only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate medication and dosage for your Lhasa Apso. The veterinarian may also recommend regular check-ups and blood work to monitor the dog’s response to the medication. It’s also important to accompany medication with training and behavior modification techniques to ensure long-term success. If you’re considering medication as a treatment option, weigh the potential benefits and risks carefully and work closely with your veterinarian to ensure a safe and effective treatment plan.

When to Seek Professional Help

It is important to recognize when your Lhasa Apso’s aggression towards other dogs has reached a level that requires professional help. This can be a difficult decision to make, but seeking the guidance of a professional can be the best course of action for both you and your furry friend.

Warning signs that indicate it’s time to seek professional help:

– Your Lhasa Apso’s aggression has resulted in injuries to other dogs or people.
– The aggression is becoming more frequent and intense.
– Your Lhasa Apso is displaying signs of fear or anxiety around other dogs, such as panting, pacing, or hiding behind you.
– Your attempts at training and behavior modification have not been successful.
– The aggression is causing strain on your relationship with your dog, and you find it difficult to enjoy spending time with them.

When these warning signs appear, it may be time to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to help you in addressing your dog’s aggression in a safe and effective manner.

What to expect when seeking professional help:

During your first consultation, the trainer or behaviorist will assess your Lhasa Apso’s behavior and ask questions about their history and environment. From there, they will create a personalized training plan that addresses your dog’s aggression towards other dogs.

The training plan may include exercises focused on reinforcing good behavior, desensitizing your dog to other dogs, or using medication to help manage their aggression. It’s important to follow the trainer or behaviorist’s instructions carefully, and to be consistent in your training efforts.


Lhasa Apsos are known for their occasional aggressive behavior towards other dogs, but with the right training and management techniques, this behavior can be addressed successfully. However, when the aggression becomes too intense or frequent, it is important to consider seeking professional help. With the guidance of a trained professional, you can help your furry friend overcome their aggression and enjoy a happier, healthier life.


After understanding the aggression in Lhasa Apsos and looking at the various training methods to address it, it’s important to remember that every dog is different and may require a unique approach. As a dog owner, it’s crucial to stay observant, patient, and consistent in your training methods.

Remember to always focus on positive reinforcement and being mindful of your dog’s body language. Choose the right socialization techniques, supervise and manage your dog’s behavior, and seek professional help if necessary.

It’s important to note that aggression towards other dogs can be a serious problem that requires professional advice and intervention. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified dog behaviorist or veterinarian if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed with your Lhasa Apso’s training.

With the right approach, you can successfully train your Lhasa Apso to reduce or eliminate aggressive behaviors towards other dogs. Be patient, persistent, and always keep your dog’s safety and well-being at the forefront. With time and effort, you can enjoy a happy and harmonious relationship with your furry companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is aggression in Lhasa Apsos?

Aggression in Lhasa Apsos is a complex behavior that can manifest in various forms, including growling, snarling, biting, and lunging towards other dogs or people.

What are the causes of aggression in Lhasa Apsos?

The causes of aggression in Lhasa Apsos can range from genetic predisposition to environmental factors such as lack of socialization, improper training, and traumatic experiences.

Can aggression in Lhasa Apsos be prevented?

While not all aggression in Lhasa Apsos can be prevented, proper socialization, training, and supervision can significantly reduce the risk of aggressive behaviors.

What are some socialization techniques that can help prevent aggression in Lhasa Apsos?

Positive exposure to other dogs and people, visits to dog parks and training classes, and playtime with other well-behaved dogs can all help socialize Lhasa Apsos and reduce the risk of aggressive behaviors.

What is positive reinforcement training?

Positive reinforcement training is a training method that involves rewarding desired behaviors, rather than punishing unwanted ones, to encourage repeat behaviors.

How does counter-conditioning and desensitization work?

Counter-conditioning and desensitization involve gradually exposing a Lhasa Apso to stimuli that provoke aggressive behaviors, while pairing it with positive associations such as treats and praise, in order to change the dog’s emotional response to those stimuli.

Can medication help with aggression in Lhasa Apsos?

Medication can be prescribed by a veterinarian to help manage anxiety and other underlying conditions that contribute to aggression in Lhasa Apsos, but should only be used in conjunction with training and behavior modification.

When should I seek professional help?

If your Lhasa Apso displays aggressive behaviors that are frequent, intense, or unpredictable, it is important to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address the issue and prevent potential harm to other dogs or people.

How long does it take to address aggression in Lhasa Apsos?

The time it takes to address aggression in Lhasa Apsos depends on the severity of the behavior, the dog’s history and temperament, and the consistency of training and behavior modification methods applied. It may take weeks, months, or even longer to see significant improvement.

Is it possible to rehabilitate a Lhasa Apso with a history of aggression?

With proper training and behavior modification techniques, it is possible to rehabilitate a Lhasa Apso with a history of aggression. However, it is important to understand that complete rehabilitation is not always achievable and management strategies may need to be implemented long-term.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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