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I drew it all out, but I can't even imagine animating a walk cycle. I'm helplessly lost and the IK stuff doesn't actually lock the feet down to the ground, they still rotate around all crazily so I have to keep doing it manually. And just how would anyone do the tail? ... Yeah, I'm totally lost.

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It just takes time... Find a good reference of an animal walking cycle similar to what you'd like, use either a ruler or guide image for the ground level to make sure at each key-frame the feet never go through the floor, and make each key-frame match your reference. Then do final tweeks and add additional key-frames between the core key-frames where needed if the feet go through the floor during playback.

Animating a quadruped by hand is advanced stuff, in the absence of ton's of experience, good reference animations, methodological thinking and a lot of patience will be critical.

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