I don't think it's fair to characterize Schutzhund people as more serious about their sport than others. For most SchH people I know, it's still very much a recreational sport, although I agree it also is still seen as a breed test to a large degree as well. Actually, I know more serious working herding folks (as in, actually make at least part of their living raising livestock and use their dogs on the farm) than SchH folks.
I do agree, though, that SchH attracts more people with a different mentality. I really think, though, that it's largely because of the bite work and the potential risks that poses. Most of us on this board know that a dog trained in bite work is not going to be a risk to most people, but I don't think that's common knowledge. It also poses challenges when it comes to management and liability, because of insurance regulations and such. And it does have the potential to pose some management problems in general, especially early in the training--I was nearly bitten by a dog in SchH training because I was wearing camouflage BDUs which was also what the targets (or whatever they're called) wore over their padding at his training group.
So I think that SchH people are a lot more likely to be willing to manage the dog 24/7 because they go into it knowing that a dog trained in bitework needs 24/7 management anyway just due to liability issues on the off chance the dog bites someone. It's not about how much time you devote to training or how much money you spend or how committed you are, it's an expectation of how you want to manage the dog in the off hours when you're not actually training for the sport, if that makes sense.
Warning: if you don't care about the horse industry as compared to dog sports, skip the rest of this post.
Thank you, Elisabeth. I believe your story was exactly the point of the OP.
Here is what I don't understand. When showing horses, the geldings still have high monetary value if they are winning. Not as much as a champion stallion but they are out there proving the lines they came from. Maybe because there is so much money involved in general? I don't know enough about that part, just that the values remain high for winners. Now, why is it that in the dog world, the same is not true? The value is placed on the reproductive abilities.
I think that the horse industry is very different from dog sports. In some ways they're similar, but in others you're comparing apples to oranges.
I think the biggest thing in the value of geldings vs. stallions when compared to dogs, is that most people want to be able to do something with their horses, and stallions have the potential to be very dangerous. They do require greater finesse to handle well (stallions are more likely than mares or geldings to react aggressively to rough handling, IME, and you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings with them). Like intact dogs they're more likely to challenge their handlers, but they can accidentally kill you when they're just posturing to scare you off. They're also more unpredictable in a show environment (from experience, I can tell you that it's not real fun to be in a group class on a young stallion when there's a mare in heat in the ring!) and again, while that is an issue with young dogs too, your stallion being unpredictable is much more likely to result in serious injury or death. It can also be hard to find a boarding stable that will take a stallion in (which isn't an issue with dogs since most trainers are prepared to take intact dogs and many owners keep their dogs at home), and if you do you will likely be paying extra for it, possibly a great deal extra. So for the average owner, having a gelding makes a lot more sense, even if they have him in professional training.
I also think that the horse breeding is a little more of an industry than most dog breeding is. Having a champion stallion isn't going to make you a profit, unless you have one of those outliers who has a $million+ stud fee and is in high demand (and even them, I'd like to see the books...I bet the profit isn't as big as the stud fee implies). I know when I trained at a breeding farm with a famous stallion, we lost money on him even though we had no trouble getting bookings and his stud fee was rather high. It costs so much to promote him, show him, keep him, etc. that you just can't recoup it. Instead, you make the money off of him by selling his offspring by your own mares, which I think is the same for dog breeding, but most successful breeding operations also use his success for attracting clients for other services like boarding, training and showing in order to make a profit. So for the average non-pro owner who doesn't want to run a major farm, you're just pouring a lot of money down the hole for a horse you may not even feel comfortable riding--and as expensive as dogs are, horses are significantly more expensive. It happens, but for the most part it's unrealistic for a skilled amateur owner to promote and show their own super-valuable stallion, even during the early training. Most top stallions I know of that are owned by amateurs are in year-round training with top trainers, which costs a ton of money. Remember, having a super-valuable stallion isn't just about winning, it's about promoting him to mare owners and making him famous. OTOH, a nice gelding is a lot more manageable for that skilled amateur, and there are many examples of amateur owners taking their geldings or mares to the top levels of the sport. So overall, there just isn't a very big market for that super-expensive stallion, but there's a large market for a winning gelding.
I also think there's more of a glut of nice unwanted purebred horses than there are dogs (or at least dogs from quality breeders--obviously we have a problem with puppy-milled and mixed breed dogs in the US). As a result, a stallion's fame is largely tied to the fame and prestige of his owner, trainer and/or breeder, unless his accomplishments are truly exceptional (like if you have a racehorse who wins the Triple Crown, it doesn't matter if anyone's ever heard of any of the people involved, he'll still be valuable). This further reduces the market for stallions, without reducing the number of people who want to show horses.
I will note that last paragraph doesn't apply to rare breeds. I have some experience with 2 valued but rare (in the US anyway) breeds and for them, any breeding-quality horse with the ability to reproduce is automatically more valuable than a gelding of similar quality. But with rare breeds, while they are usually shown to increase their popularity and value, the bloodlines alone are what is valued. With more popular breeds (Quarterhorses, Arabians, Thoroughbreds), virtually all of the desirable bloodlines are common enough that having certain horses in their pedigree doesn't automatically add value except in very unusual cases (for example, at my farm we had a filly who was one of only 3 daughters of a very famous and in-demand deceased stallion who threw mostly colts, and because of that we sold her for an incredible sum before she'd even been shown in halter as a yearling).
So I think you combine those factors with a few others and you wind up having a lot more of a market for geldings. Really, I think the unpredictability of stallions and perception of them being dangerous is the biggest factor though. A more difficult dog is one thing (as long as he's not going to eat your face off), but a difficult horse can kill you without even meaning to.
Sorry if this is boring or off-topic, but I think it's interesting to compare the horse world with the dog world.