I don't want to return him to the shelter, but...
My approx 7 month old shelter rescue, Oakley, is super sweet and loving towards people. Smart, potty trained & crate trained easily, heels, sits, stays when in the house, etc. Unfortunately, he CANNOT control himself around other animals. He was in a pen with another similar sized/aged puppy at the shelter and was calm walking down the aisles of other barking dogs when we met him, so I never dreamed this would be an issue. He is a neutered, 40lb, Catahoula mix and we've now had him for 3 months.
The moment another dog is in sight, Oakley starts barking and lunging at them, insisting on mounting, mouthing, roughly nipping and generally dominating them. His tail is usually wagging, but I'm not willing to let him potentially maul another animal to find out if it's actually malicious or just un-checked over-exhuberance. I know Catahoulas are working dogs known for being a bit rough, but he can NOT focus on anything/anyone else once he's zeroed in on another animal; his handler no longer exists. Not even full-powered spray hose will deter his concentration.
We have been working with a dog-trainer for the last 8 weeks, with the hopes that great manners in the house would encourage better listening response around other dogs. Yesterday's training appt (with our friends' super calm lab there for some supervised socialization) was a disaster. My fiance and the dog trainer had to each have a leash on him because his lunging is so determined and powerful. We added a Halti for extra control, but his adrenaline levels went through the roof and we cut the lesson off since he was shaking and panting so badly. We talked about moving to pinch collar and muzzle, as our humane ideas aren't cutting it, but I doubt that will even phase him.
Anyone BTDT? Is there any hope for a turnaround? He was supposed to be our family pet but I can't chance my 7 year old son getting hurt. Oakley's already broken a window in our home trying to get at dogs outside - what if my son happens to be in between Oakley and another dog and he get's trampled?
We're traveling for a few days this month, but no place will accept him for boarding (we took him for several "interviews" and left with the owner's mouth's gaping in awe) and he obviously can't travel with us. I've never imagined returning an animal to a shelter but we've been discussing the possibility. I don't know what else to do with our boy.