I had the same dilemma as you. By Brit didn't show much natural retrieve until after she was 3 though. Then one day she brought me a bird after I shot it. From then on she would retrieve half heartedly and drop the birds well I front of me. However, that's all we needed for the foundation. This might not be the standard way to teach retrieving, but it worked really well for our Brit. At home, we broke out the treats and started playing in the house. At first, she got a treat when she brought a toy back on the "fetch" command. Then she only got a treat when she dropped it in our hands. I then taught her hold simply by puting a tennis ball in her mouth and holding in shut and giving the "hold" command. I'd then tell her to "give" and made her drop the ball in my hand. She got a treat when she did it correct. We moved up to tossing the ball or toy in the house and giving her the fetch command. She would return it and I'd give her the hold command until I wanted her to give. I can't tell you how easy it was and how well it worked. Finally we moved to holding her steady with the whoa command until I released her to retrieve. Once she was 100% in the house I moved her to the back yard. There was almost no transition at all, she was 98% in the back yard as well. Same thing happened when she moved to the field..........We made it a game and coaxed her with treats and now I have a very good retriever. Now, she might not make 150 yard blind retrieves, but then again she might. Might not have been the most orthodox way to train retrieve, but for us, it worked incredibly well. She retrieves to hand and won't release the bird until the "give" command.