I sort'a did the same thing the first 6 mos. . . I spent tons of time out in the woods, in the water and in the field. I even had her pulling 1/4 of a railroad tie to build strength and endurance and skipping much of the most important foundation of OB. . . It's certainly not too late to play catch up a little. . . sounds like he/she already has the natural retreiving instincts - I would even recommend one of those dog OB classes at night; it's a great way to socialize dog and will help you formalize your effort.