Beth, I see you're in "Oregon," I'll assume (like most of us) the Willamette Valley. There are some very tender "Italian fig" varieties, so sensitive to cold they can barely stand the lightest of frosts. Perhaps that's
a variety you have; do you know the variety? In severe winters I've known young figs to die back to ground level, but not on a regular basses.
As far as pruning... if it's a well established plant, 10 years "there" or better, and has the vigor to re-grow every year from ground level, I wouldn't prune it at all. It needs to establish "limbs," or trunks
large enough to withstand the freezes of your area. Let them thicken-up for 3 or so years, pruning only for structure. To establish figs in my yard, I'll cage them in and bury them in raked leaves for the winter - mice love
this protection too so don't
leave it on too late into spring. After a year or two, they're husky enough to take harsh weather with only slight tip die-back.
If you've had this fig for over 5 years and it consistently dies back - I'd replace it. Desert King
is the best fig for Oregon, I have 5 of them!
Vigorous; hardy; and prolific; you'd most likely have fruit within 2 or 3 years. If they
die back... consistently - you may be too cold & windy for figs. A south exposure against a building may be your only chance. One of our favorite fruits; they're worth the extra effort