DISCLAIMER: This is a long story. If you're a dog person, I plead for your help and interest.
So I live in a pretty desolate area considering the surrounding cities. It's the country inside the city, you could say. I live on a dead end of a dead end, so nobody ever comes back by my neighbors and I. Across the street behind my neighbors house is a huge marsh. Everyone seems to have a dog or two in the neighborhood and it took adjusting to because my dog, kind of a mut but mostly german shepherd, about 50 lbs, isn't a fan of other dogs. She's not aggressive, she's very skiddish and will run away if one approaches her. A lot of my neighbors let their dogs roam free, and my dog has had some encounters with others unintentionally from them running from their yards when we're walking. We've looked into training for her to accustom her to other dogs, but it's expensive. I've tried myself with friends or family members dogs, but the balance is my pooch is epileptic and the two times she was overly exposed to other dogs, she had seizures that night likely due to stress.
I get along really well with my neighbors across the street. Family with two kids about 10. They have two dogs, one is a very friendly mut. The other is mostly pitbull and not friendly at all. They do a really good job keeping it close to them. It doesn't leave the house unless it's on a leash.
Well last week, I was doing yard work in my backyard. My house is on 1.5 acres, so it's a good size and spread apart from other neighbors. My dog was with me, she is attached to my hip so when I do yardwork she just lays next to me. When she gets bored, she'll walk to the front and sit at the front door waiting to go in. After awhile, she started trotting towards the front which was unusual. I called to her several times and she didn't respond which was highly unusual. I walked behind her, about 20 yards because I wasn't concerned. Well, the friendly dog across the street wanders into our yard all the time. It did again and my dog sensed it. When I got around the front of the house, they were having a little circle bark at each other, nothing overly aggressive, but wanted to separate them. Both my neighbor and I emerged about the same time and called our dogs back to us. Unbeknownst to me, their pit was in their truck on a leash because they were leaving. The window was down all the way and saw this and went nuts. When I grabbed my dog, the pit jumped from the window and chased my dog into my garage.
She got on my dogs heels and started biting her in the back and legs. My dog ran into the back of my garage and down the 6 stairs that leads to my lower level. The pit then got ahold of my dogs neck and started tossing her around. I sprinted after them and the pit had my dog pinned down with her front paws on top of her and biting her neck. I curb stomped the crap out of the pit twice with no effect at all. I went into full rage mode and started punching the crap out of the pit in the head, mouth, eye, face and it didn't react at all. The pit had a harness on and I lifted it by the harness and was punching it in the ribs because I know that's how K9 handlers get their dogs to release. Still nothing. I grabbed it from behind, reared back and put it, literally, in a rear naked choke. The dog went out, released my dog and I let go and it was pulled away by its owner. This lasted about 30-45 seconds.
Luckily, the pit had a leader leash that wraps around its jaw to prevent it from pulling. I think that saved my dogs life because she could only get ahold of scruff on my dog because it couldn't open its mouth all the way. In the fight, my wife was there too and was trying to pull our dog away. My dog, instinctively was biting at anything it could and got ahold of my wife's hand really good. My dog got away with a few bites on her back, neck, side and legs. I had to quickly tend to my wife and dog ushering them inside and we raced off to the hospital and emergency vet.
My wife was off work for a week because her hand was fucked up. My dogs ok, she's been on antibiotics and her wounds are healing fine. The worst part will be the ER bill. The vet bill was only about $250, surprisingly, if you've ever been to a 24 hr emergency vet, their charges are outrageous. I went and talked to the neighbors when I got home late that night. It was kind of awkward. A few apologies all the way around, I was trying to be cool because I'd rather let it lie considering everyone was generally ok and I have to live next to them forever.
So here's my questions. My dog was skiddish before. Now she's downright frightened by the sound of a bark. Today I took her out on a leash and the pit was at their front door going nuts. Now that the pit knows it owned my dog, it's going to be overly aggressive. After seeing her barking and jumping, my dog started whining and tried to pull back inside. We had a trainer over this week and he was cool and all, but I didn't get a lot of questions answered. Has anyone ever done socialization classes for their dogs? Or heard of this? Does it work? We'd love to get another dog, but my biggest fear is having to give it up if it doesn't work out with my current dog. Also, has anyone fenced a large yard? I don't hve the slightest idea what a cost of tht would be. My yard is surrounded by wooded area, nobody has fences around and I feel like it'd be any eye sore. I don't want to fence just a portion either. I'd either do my entire backyard or none of it. Like I said, there's woods surrounding my backyard. I feel like the maintaining of trying to cut down weeds and bushes that would grow over and into it would be a huge pain. Anyone fenced near a wooded area?