I wanted to share this story just as a learning experience. I didn't get seriously injured, and I have no ill will toward either the breed or the particular dog.
First of all, my neighbor is a complete idiot. He lets his dogs lay in the public road. The last dog he had was a boxer that I really liked, and the dog died because he tied it up near a fence. The dog jumped over the fence and hung herself. I don't think he's a bad person, just an idiot.
A couple of days ago, he was standing in the yard of a house down the road that I was working on. He had what looked like a giant pit bull on a leash. I was on a motorcycle; my bike is a 500cc Suzuki. It's not a loud bike. I rode up next to him to look at the dog. He told me it was an English boxer. I looked it up later, and there's no such breed. The dog is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
He said it was a former military dog. I asked him what job, and he said cadaver sniffing, but in hindsight I'm not so sure about that. The dog showed no interest in me, and no excitement whatsoever. He was just standing there quietly while we talked - and that's what really got to me after he bit me, that I never saw it coming at all.
What happened was that I revved the motorcycle to leave, and I'm guessing that it triggered the bite-stimulus training that someone had given this dog for personal protection use. I was moving away from him, and that's probably what kept him from taking my calf muscle off. He launched and hit me so fast that neither one of us really saw it happen. I felt like I had been shot in the leg. I pulled up my pant leg, and saw that he didn't quite break the skin. There was the hook-shaped mark of one of his teeth. Right now my outer calf in that spot is bruised up and looks like I got hit by a line drive baseball going 110 mph.
It'll heal. I'll be fine. It could have been much, much worse. I wanted to share this story and what I learned here - no sudden loud stimulus around big scary dogs, even when they are showing no signs of aggression. That last part is key. I'm almost 40 and have had dogs all my life, but it's naive to think I can always see aggressive behavior coming.
And once again, I don't mean anything against pitts or staffies, or any one breed of dog. I am honestly kind of in admiration of the speed and power of the dog that bit me. It was very impressive. I almost want one now