We adopted a dog almost three years ago from our local shelter. He is an amazing dog with tons of energy. We've been thinking about getting a companion dog for him for some time. Today, we finally made the decision to adopt a second dog. We adopted a 2 year old female dog of the same breed.

My question is whether it's OK to keep the new dog in a crate at night, while our other dog stays out in our house as he has always done. The female was just spayed yesterday, and our male dog is frequently attempting to hump the female (this was to be expected). We do not leave the two of them alone without supervision while they get used to each other. We're concerned about nighttime when we are all asleep. We have a crate that we used to train our first dog, but I was wondering if it is OK to crate the new female dog and leave our other dog out during the night (we never crated our old dog after helping him to get over his separation anxiety; he currently sleeps where ever he wants at night).

  • But why? If you have supervised them for a couple of hours and everything was fine (humping is not a problem for dogs, it is a problem for humans who apply human standards on animals), why do you think anything would happen during night, that is the dog's low activity period?
    – d-b
    Mar 16, 2019 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


It is fine to constrain one dog while keeping the other dog free to roam; this is common in many households where one dog is more comfortable being crated, or needs to be quarantined for any reason. Consider if the dog was injured and needed to be kept from the other dogs; this is the same sort of situation.

We have an elderly dog who will roam at night and a younger dog who will not. We have to crate the elderly dog so that he will not mark the rugs at night; when crated, he's fine and does his business in the morning. The younger dog could care less.

Crating to keep dogs from each other is a safety concern, and as you currently do not leave them unsupervised when free to roam, there is nothing wrong with keeping one constrained. You haven't changed the unconstrained dog's situation other than introducing a new crate into the area; you aren't changing his night lifestyle of roaming; you are simply introducing a (temporary) night lifestyle to your new dog.

If you are concerned about the roaming dog interacting with the crate, see how they act at night; if he leaves her alone in her crate, then that is fine. If he bothers her, you might have to crate her in a room that he cannot access, either by closing the door or erecting a barrier.

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