Deb Kidwell -Taylor lives in Sweetwater, TN, on three acres of fields and woods with her husband Ron and five Azawakh. Originally from Virginia, Deb has had Azawakh since 1989. She also raises super tall chickens known as Asian Fowl, jokingly calling them the “Azawakh of chickens.” She is an AKC Breeder of Merit and has given numerous AKC Judges Education seminars.
“I just love to watch the Azawakh move around the yard. They are so beautiful and elegant. I love the devotion they show to their person. Their adoration for their person shines in their eyes. I had never experienced such an exquisite animal and never have since. Other breeds pale in comparison to them, in my eyes,” Deb said.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Deb: I grew up with Doberman Pinschers, then started showing and breeding Cardigan Corgis in my early 20’s and later Pharaoh Hounds. I found the Azawakh through sighthound journals and Dog World magazine back in 1988-89, all before internet and cell phones!
AKC: What is the most important thing to know about the Azawakh?
Deb: They aren’t fragile roses! They have a backbone of steel and are stubborn in the extreme. Once their mind is made up about something, it’s very difficult to change it. Socialization is vitally important in the breed.
AKC: How has AKC Marketplace helped you find puppy buyers?
Deb: AKC Marketplace is great. It’s so easy to use. I’ve found numerous people interested in the breed and have been able to answer questions and screen potential puppy homes. It’s also an educational resource for the general public.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?
Deb: Why do you want an Azawakh?
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
Deb: People who ask intelligent questions and who have obviously taken the time to read about the breed before contacting me. Folks that are excited to learn about the breed, even if they find that the breed is not a good fit for them.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Deb: Find a good breed mentor who can teach you about pedigrees, health testing, etc. Ask questions! Keep an open mind!
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Deb: My dogs have won many specialties and BIS at rare breed shows. We now participate in AKC conformation shows and other events. Some of my Azawakh are titled and participating in rally, obedience, agility, lure coursing, racing, scent work, flyball, Search & Rescue, Barn Hunt, Farm Dog, AKC Trick Dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen, freestyle, and Meet the Breed events, just to name a few!
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Deb: The excitement of planning and raising a litter. I love working on puppy enrichment! I really like making and doing things that will get my pups accustomed to all types of stimuli from the day they are born. My husband and I watch videos and listen to podcasts to get ideas for use in the future. And I love, love, love the people who have my puppies. What a great group of folks!
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Deb: That’s a hard question! So many to choose from, LOL! I guess my favorite thing about breeding Azawakh is becoming acquainted with lovely people who become longtime friends. I think that continued contact with all my Azawakh owners is vitally important.