A. First thing's first: physical exercise, (once again), is your best friend! Puppies have energy in bursts, and if they don't have a proper outlet, they express it with negative repercussions: chewing, biting, digging, hyper-activity, etc. I would suggest that when you are interacting with him, try to have a toy handy so you can play with him with the toy. Don't use your hands as toys. The second he puts teeth on skin, this is what I used to do: stand up, throw my arms up, and say "game over!" and walk away. It usually leaves the pup being like, "what the hell?" lol. Give him a sec to calm down, and come on back.
There is also a product called Bitter Apple Spray that I used to use on my ankles and wrists (because those were Spark - yes, Spark's! - targeted areas when he was in his Shark Mouth phase). I wouldn't suggest holding his mouth shut; most dogs, it ends up making it worse, although not always. I'd err on the side of caution and not use that method. Provided you are covering your bases with his physical exercise - and I mean more than just a ten minute walk in the yard - if you've done the "game over" thing like three times in a row, it's perfectly acceptable to give him a little time out. I think it's ok to use the crate for this, AS LONG AS YOU ARE SIMPLY PUTTING HIM CALMLY IN A TIME OUT, and not using it as punishment, i.e. "BAD boy, GET IN THERE!" and that type of attitude. I would also suggest keep his leash and collar on (under supervision, of course) in the house, so you have access to puppy without using your hands to grab his body. Just pick up the leash, and calmly bring him over to his crate (or a bathroom, or whatever), give him a few minutes to calm down, and let him right back out into the same situation. Again, your attitude is super important with this, because if all you use a crate for is punishment, he will likely start hating it. Crate = calm. That's the message we're trying to send here.
Another FUN thing to do to teach an alternative behavior is to teach "kisses!" Put a little butter on your hand, present your hand to the puppy, and when he licks the little bit of butter, say "kisses! kisses! Good boy" in your sweetest voice :) It's easy, and with consistency he'll get it, and when he starts to put teach on you, then you can cue "kisses!" instead! Fun one to do with the kids.
Hopefully, this was helpful, and come on back for Q&A Wednesday on our facebook page. You can message us questions here on Higher Expectations Dog Training & Behavior Modification any time during the week. Feel free to share, and thanks for participating! Happy Halloween & be safe! -Cassie-Leigh Stock, Owner, HEX Dog Training