Wow! Quite honestly, I don't think my dogs have met 40 different people or dogs in the past YEAR, let alone the past week. This past week? Aside from the 3 people who live here (me, husband, roommate) they have encountered three other people; the farm manager for the land we live on, the guy who is raising pheasants in the 3 acre flight pen in my backyard, and the UPS man. All people they've met before and encounter on a semi-regular basis, at least 1-2 times a month. LOL.
We live on 3500 acres in South Dakota and our next door neighbors are 3 miles away.
However, we've only been here 4 years. For the Senjis, the country life is a big difference from where they started out. Jibini lived the first half of his life with me as an "apartment dog" in busy-suburban Orlando & Tampa FL….not city environment but enough people in one spot that we might encounter 5-6 others on our daily walks, plus we hit the dog park every other day when he was young. Then I got a job driving an 18 wheeler nationwide, Jibini accompanied me for 5 years and over a half-million miles....he has "marked his territory" in all of the lower 48 states. For that time in his life, every day brought a new "backyard" and new neighbors and endless opportunity for new experiences for both of us. We adopted Tana while we were still trucking, she rode with us for 2 years Before BRAT got her, she lived in a puppymill for the first 2 years of her life and was scared of her own shadow....today 6 yrs later you'd never believe it- she is confident, friendly, playful and loves life
My other 2 dogs (mix breed and Brittany) joined the family after we moved to SD. And yep, attempting to socialize a rural dog & offer the same types of experiences that are easily accessible to a city/suburban dog....is a fairly monumental task. Puts a lot of miles on your vehicle for sure. Chloe our mix accompanied me nearly everywhere for the first 6 months I had her- luckily it was fall with cool weather so I could take her along any time I made trips into town. Farm stores usually don't mind you bringing a dog in, so she visited Tractor Supply and the feed mill a lot. We went to parks, walking trails, worked on obedience with distractions, etc. Once a week for six weeks, we'd drive 120 miles one-way to attend group Obedience classes in Sioux Falls (I mainly did this to address a few issues with being reactive to other dogs, the training I could handle on my own- but she was originally a city dog from Hartford CT and I think much of it was just her temperament type not a lack of early exposure).
Ellie my Brittany was a lot easier- couldn't ask for a sweeter, gentler, more confident and friendly dog. No issues, I can take her anywhere and do anything with her and nothing fazes her. Plus she's one heck of a fine bird dog. I do think a lot has to do with genetics, she is easily the most well-adjusted dog I have ever owned and she has had the LEAST amount of socialization. The breed is generally supposed to be friendly, energetic and confident and that's her to a T. I knew exactly what I was looking for when I bought her, and she comes from some phenominal genes to say the least.....I think in some cases when you happen to have a dog who's genetically predisposed to be rock-solid with a great temperament, you can get away with less effort when it comes to socialization....the dog is far less likely to develop any behavior issues that are fear-based, which most common behavior problems such as aggression, are.