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My dog's name is Beast, a black lab/chihuahua/min pin mix. He's around 35 pounds and his back is just below my knee. He's guestimated to be 1 1/2 years old and I've had him for about 8 months now. He came from a bad place before. I took him from a home where he was put in the backyard once he was around two months old and was never interacted with unless it was beating. The "owners" allowed their kids to hit him and whip him with towels and sheets for their entertainment, and one kid admitted to beating him to try and make him submit and listen. He was scared of any sudden movement when I met him and had never seen anything besides the backyard. His only interactions with other animal were with his mom (chihuahua/min pin) and his dad (black lab), both equally unsocialized. I was told the dad played extremely aggressively, to the point where it was more like an attack than play, but I never got to see it for myself because he had jumped the fence for the tenth time and not come home (I don't blame him).
Anyway, my dog has always been extremely reactive. He barks, lunges, and growls at other dogs on walks. It has never been aggressive (until today, but I'll get to that), and he's always perfectly fine when a dog runs out of its house up to him. He's a little standoffish at first, but when all he wants to do is play. Other dogs are generally a little scared of him because he's insanely playful and hyper, and he is very dominant no matter the size of the other dog.
I've tried countless training methods to decrease his reactivity, from the harness, the choke chain (he would keep choking himself forever, and quite often jump in the air and twist, which made me imaging him snapping his own neck),the prong collar (it worked the best to keep him firmly on the ground, but I really wish he didn't have to use it), and the martingale he has now (he slips out of his collar too easily to not use a martingale). He's decent at walking loose leash, and we're working on strengthening it using the start, stop, change direction, and give a treat right before he catches up method. I'm also trying to make dogs a positive things by giving him treats when he sees one, but its not working well.
Today things went horribly. A lab ran up to us and seemed friendly enough, but Beast was not pleased. He's generally tense for a few seconds and the loosens up, wags his tail, and starts to play. But that's not how this time went. He tried to mount the lab's head for a moment(his usual dominant behavior. He only mounts for a second and then gets down) but the lab backed away and put his head slightly over Beast's (the other dog was much bigger), sniffing Beast's collar a little bit, and then Beast lunged, growling and going straight for the throat. When the owner finally came over he didn't apologize for having his dog off leash, and Beast kept right on lunging and snarling and dog and owner. This has NEVER happened before. He's interacted with plenty of dogs of all sizes, from yorkies to golden retrievers, and has never attacked. He bats at the little ones when he's in a play bow to try and get them to play but that's it. He plays decently with a pretty little pit bull and got his butt kicked by her a few times, and the worst he's ever done to her is growled while playing (he's very vocal and has many distinct sounds) and given her a little love nibble on the neck, which he does to my arm and my dad's neck quite often.
How in the world am I supposed to fix his behavior? I can't afford a professional, as I'm currently a senior in high school and will be moving to another state for college, so there's no extra money, and my parents have no interest in helping me. None of the dogs in my neighborhood are well trained, so neighbors aren't much help.
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