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Hi,
I have a Bichon Frise and Cockapoo who are attached at the hip. I've a large enclosed lawn where (since springtime when I got them both) they love going out for a few hours to run around, play with their toys and watch the neighbours going about their business. They come inside for their midday nap, in the evenings on the couch and at night. They are very happy dogs! But I've one problem.....rain!
I dont live in an extreme climate. Average temperatures in summer 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. My cockapoo is very much a hunting dog, very tough and totally unphased by our weather, but I am concerned about my Bichon. They have a large warm kennel outside to go into when it rains but they rarely use it. My Bichon would prefer to shelter under the trees instead. Then the cockapoo will stand in the middle of the lawn as if nothing is happening....when my bichon cant get her sister to join her under the trees, she heads out to join her and they both stand out in the rain which I absolutely hate! They are not cold, the air is warm but they are wet! Then the shower passes and I head out with a big towel to dry them off.
They can't come inside all day due to family circumstances so I need a better solution for the colder months and for rain in general.
I've considered getting my bichon and /or both of them raincoats or overalls but I suspect they could get their legs caught, get hurt or just chew them. I do have a large stable they can go into for emergencies only but I'd like them to have more stimulation, and wouldnt like they to be locked in for a few hours at a time.
I'd love to hear some sensible, practical suggestions.
Thanks so much for your time :)
 

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Raincoats typically don't breathe very well, so I would actually be more concerned that they could overheat if they're romping around unsupervised wearing them than I would about them getting caught on things (though that is also possible).

You could try setting up a temporary rain shelter in the area of the yard the cockapoo prefers to hang out in, to see if the bichon will use it if they have an option close to their friend. If so, you could replace it with a more permanent option.

Otherwise, there's honestly not much you can do here. Are you seeing signs the bichon is actually cold, like shivering or crying to come in? When you go out to dry them, is either dog actually wet to the skin, or is it just the outer layer of fluff that's wet? Curly hair is often - but not always - very good at repelling water and so doesn't become fully saturated with water quickly or easily. There are exceptions however (my own poodle is one), so if your pup's hair is totally soaked and flat down to the skin after a rain, don't count on it for protection.

If the dog's not actually cold or getting soaked, I'd just keep doing what you're doing and watch for signs of that changing as the weather cools. You may find they naturally start using the shelters they have more as the seasons change. If the bichon is acting cold and/or is getting very wet, but still not using their shelter, you may have to resign yourself to confining them to the stable on particularly wet/chilly days, or on days when you're not there to monitor them. Sometimes dogs don't have much common sense, or something valuable to them - like being close to their friend - overpowers their own comfort.
 
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