Re-training a large dog?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/ied9c9/retraining_a_large_dog/

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Hi! So my boy Mac is a 4yr old american staffy x bullmastiff – definitely a large dog. Before him, I had another american staffy who we trained all the proper ways through puppy school etc. When Mac came along, she mothered him and they were very close and training him came very easily. Quite frankly, it felt like she did a lot of the training for us. A couple years ago, our first dog passed before her time, leaving Mac alone and quite depressed. It was at this time that he seemed to loose almost all of his training. He still sat and waited for dinner, and dropped items and went to bed when told, but no longer walked on a slack leash, started getting very excited and uncontrollable out in public etc. He's a lot better with guests at home these days though. A lot of obedience went out the window there. He's definitely in a better mental state now and has been for a long time, although (due to personal reasons as well) he doesn't get out much anymore. We have a huge backyard where we spend plenty of time running and playing, but given his size, I can't control him on a lead outside of the home; he'd bowl me over or go running. Inside the home though, he's calm and listens well. I know the old "if you can't control your big dog, don't have one", but I initially could, unfortunate circumstances have just lead us here. Basically, can you teach your dog to walk on a lead again in a backyard, or will that just confuse them? I don't want to confuse him and deter him from future efforts, but I also can't just take him out on a lead right away with so many distractions around. Any advice is helpful advice!

TL;DR: After my old dog died, my dog has lost a lot of his training. He's very large – I can't control him on a lead and would appreciate any advice on training him again in the backyard without confusing him or deterring him from future efforts!

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