About Avonlea   


Avonlea Havanese strives to breed its dogs for health foremost, and temperament and personality a close second.  Perfect conformation is always a bonus, as we keep up with trends in the show ring.  We do not currently show our dogs but respect those who do.


Avonlea Havanese ascribes to Dr. Jean Dodd's protocol for vaccination in dogs.  Vaccines are not benign medications!  Vaccines have been implicated in many side effects, illnesses, and deadly reactions. (We have personal experience with adverse reactions!)  While some vaccinations are necessary to avoid deadly diseases, minimal vaccination according to Dr. Dodd's protocol will minimize these reactions and provide optimal health for our puppies and dogs.  Because of this, we recommend that puppies don't receive their first vaccination until 9 wks. of age, the age where declining maternal antibodies will allow for optimal immune response to the vaccine.


Avonlea Havanese participates in health studies that research the minimal health problems inherent in our breed.  The goal is to help researchers to find the causes and thereby find a cure or ways to breed it out of the Havanese.  We are so lucky that the Havanese community is full of very devoted people who are dedicated towards improving the health and quality of life of our dogs.



Avonlea Havanese has participated in the H.E.A.R.T. study for chondrodysplasia and we have submitted tissue samples for the Sebaceous Adenitis study.  We will continue to support research in any areas we can.



To that point, Avonlea Havanese fully health tests its breeding dogs.  We perform BAER (hearing) tests, CERF (eyesight) tests, xray hips and patellas for dyspasia and Legg-Calves Perthes disease, and check bile acids for liver shunts. We also will perform cardiac exams and thyroid tests when needed.  Health is paramount to us. Copies of any tests are available to puppy buyers upon request.  Some breeders elect to post their health tests results online, but actually health test results DO NOT have to be posted online to be valid.


However, we recognize the limitations of such health tests in respect to genetics.  We have done an enormous amount of research on health topics and continue to keep abreast of latest genetic and medical developments. The sad thing is that most, if not all health problems known to occur in the Havanese have NO IDENTIFIED GENETIC MODE OF INHERITANCE.  Although some problems that have been researched are known to have a genetic cause, researchers know that there is not one just one pair of genes, but multiple genes involved.  The problem is, they do not yet know how many genes are involved nor jus WHICH genes are involved.  Until that is discovered, the results of health testing do little to insure the health of potential offspring of the dogs tested.  They just give a snapshot of the health of the adult dog.  Knowing these limitations, we just ensure we start with the healthiest dogs and hope for the best.



Health testing gives a "snapshot" of that particular dog's health, but does not help predict the health of its offspring.  Healthy puppies are the goal, and in that goal Avonlea tries to do everything possible to give them a good start.  That includes, but is not limited to, only the best dog foods on the market, prophylactice medicines for heartworm and other parasites, regular veterinary care and lots of TLC.  Only the healthiest dogs exhibiting no known hereditary disorders are used in our breeding program.   However, the health of our adult dogs and puppies is ultimately up to God, as NO HUMAN CAN GUARANTEE THE HEALTH OF A LIVING THING.