Nancy Wargas lives in Simpsonville, SC, where her primary focus is loving her seven Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, two cats, chickens and a parrot. She has raised Quarter Horses, sheep, goats, chickens and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs on Long Island, NY, and in Rowland, NC. She is an AKC Breeder of Merit, who has bred Anatolians since 1997.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Nancy: I got my first Anatolian Shepherd Dog in 1995, a foundation stock puppy. We did not get our first Anatolian for guarding livestock – we had horses who did not need protection. We added livestock (goats, chickens, Old English Baby Doll) for our dogs’ enjoyment. I had no intentions of ever breeding. I began breeding because I never want to be without a quality ASD, and I love making other people happy by placing the right puppy into the right home. Over the years I have become totally addicted to Anatolians and cannot picture not sharing my life with them.
AKC: What is most important thing to know about Anatolian Shepherd Dogs?
Nancy: The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a wonderful dog who is happy if you are happy. But they feel your happiness is your problem, not theirs! They feel they know better than you and that they own the entire world. They are independent and are thinkers. Everything they do has a reason, which may differ greatly from your line of thought. If these statements do not sit well with you then you should not be owned by an Anatolian.
AKC: How has AKC Marketplace helped you find puppy buyers?
Nancy: The AKC Marketplace is a great resource. For the most part, people who have looked at AKC sources for a puppy are doing research into the breed and want a well-bred quality dog for life.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask of potential puppy buyers?
I have the most fun asking potential owners if they can accept the fact that they will never successfully wear black ever again and do they consider dog hair a condiment!
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
The most important quality any new puppy parent can possess is a 100% commitment for the welfare, health and happiness of the dog for its entire life. This includes plans for return to breeder or alternative planning in the case of an unexpected misfortune of owners. I never want a dog I have bred to wind up in rescue or worse, euthanized for lack of a home.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Nancy: If you want to be an ethical breeder of dogs, you should be willing to keep every puppy you breed and accept back every return. Their dogs should never go into rescue. Breeders should stand behind their breeding. Strive to breed the best and maintain breed standards. A well-bred well-socialized Anatolian can do it all: Working, showing, therapy, service dog, and companions.
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Nancy: The first years I bred Anatolians I was active in showing Quarter Horses. I did not start showing my ASDs until years into breeding for working and companions. A professional handler visited me and told me I should be showing my dogs. I started showing and love it.
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Nancy: The best part about breeding is making people happy with the best dog for their individual needs.
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Nancy: My late husband Ken took several of our dogs (they were certified therapy dogs) to Fort Bragg military base hospital. The servicemen and women loved them. One day I received a phone call. The gentleman said he had been visited a year prior by Ken and his dog Sasquatch at Fort Bragg. He shared with me that when he awoke on that particular morning, he had decided he would commit suicide that very day. He said that when he looked into Sasquatch’s eyes, he saw hope and love and knew he had to keep trying to go on. He told me that he was now doing very well and wanted to thank Ken and ‘Squatch’ for saving his life.