The short answer: There is no legal prohibition to breed dogs for money.
The longer answer is to evaluate the business and animal ethics surrounding the activity – which specifically touches on the questioner's language of “Jewish values.” The dog/pet industry is fraught with animal abuse and mistreatment by the breeders/suppliers of animals. Pure bred animals tend to have greater health problems than mixed breed dogs (due to repetitive inbreeding and more), and breeding more dogs into a society that already has an overwhelming number of homeless dogs in kennels, pounds, shelters and rescue centers are ethical aspects concomitant in the industry. There is also the aspect of participating in the label-oriented, consumerism that encourages a desire for pure-bred, designer dogs as symbol and pursuit of higher social status.
You ask whether Jewish values permit us to breed dogs for money. Jewish law, tradition, and its value base are very clear about avoiding cruelty and harsh treatment toward one's animals, so any activity with animals should be considered in light of these prohibitions. The set of laws that regulate these activities is called "tzar ba'aalei chayim," or the 'prevention of cruelty to animals.'
In the Torah portion of Ki Teitzei, we learn that when an ox pulls a threshing wheel to process wheat, we don't prohibit the ox from eating some of the wheat during the process. Otherwise, we learn, it would be cruel treatment to force the ox to work with food but not be able to consume, which would be preventing an animal from behaving in its natural way. In the same parashah, we learn that when we see another person loading an animal with a load, we must assist; presumably this is a help to a fellow person. But when read these passages with a different focus we might see that helping to load another's animal allows that other person to help evaluate whether there is too much weight for the animal.
From these particular laws, the Rabbis of our tradition brought forth the concept that we avoid cruelty to animals at all costs. So when we ask whether we can "breed dogs for money," we must consider the plight of an animal in a breeding situation as well as the ultimate goal of the one hiring the dog breeder.
What are the living conditions of the animals that will breed with one another? Clean and comfortable, or squalid and unprofessional? Are they being bred kindly? That is, are dogs forced to mate when they may not be in heat? And is that a burden or does that even factor into it? Are the offspring dogs going to be treated kindly after they're bred, or will they possibly suffer harm? Will they be used in experimentation or will they enjoy a comfortable life with a family? Do we possibly have a handle on any of these questions? And if we DON'T know the answers to these questions, should we go ahead with the breeding-for-profit scheme in any case?
It is crucial to answer as many of these questions - and others - for ourselves before we consider any activity with any creature under our control. Only when we evaluate our actions and motivations can we move ahead with any activity that involves other living creatures.
Copyright 2020 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.