I encourage all dog owners to go for a ramble. Find a space, a fenced in area, where he can be set free and just allowed to be a dog. Carry a batch of delicious treats with you. When your dog thinks to stop sniffing around, to run up and check in on you, slip him one.
Do not call him. Do not talk too much. Don’t say anything. If he runs on ahead of you up the trail, double back and move in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Or, step off to the side and hide. Wait for him to come and find you. When he does, have a little party.
If you do this every day, you will find the level of trust between you growing more and more. There is great power in rambling with your dog. You will leave the responsibility on him to keep an eye on you. Once you stop nagging him, he will work harder for you. Dogs are pack animals and he wants to be with you.
If he is more interested in smelling the smells, and heading for the hills, instead of being with you, he is getting too much free food from a bowl at home. Carry his breakfast with you. Make him earn it.
As time goes on, you can use your ramble for short training exercises. The ramble is a great time to teach the dog to come when called, and teach him a long stay under distraction. There is no punishment, no pressure. Let him choose to obey.
Eventually, you will have a dog who feels better, who is less stressed, who is calmer and more confident.
And you know what? You will be, too.