Chewing is a natural way for a puppy to clean his teeth. Many dogs find chewing to be a calming activity, too. As your puppy begins to lose his milk teeth to make room for his adult set, chewing becomes a method of pain relief for itchy, raw, and throbbing gums.
Puppies start losing their milk teeth around four to five months of age. The teething period only lasts a month or so from beginning to end, but it may seem like a whole lot longer to a puppy in pain — and to the owner who finds that her table legs have been chewed.
As a general rule, your shepherd puppy should have access to lots of quality, safe chew toys and bones. This is particularly crucial during his teething period. Of course, a full supply of appropriate chew items doesn't mean that your puppy will walk right by your leather shoes without nibbling. The loss of a favorite shoe can be aggravating, but remember that your puppy can't chew your shoes — or anything else — if he doesn't have access to them.
To avoid chewing damage, do two things. First, limit your puppy's access to forbidden items. Close the doors to bedrooms and closets, and keep all personal items off the floor. Clear coffee tables of all trinkets. If you have children, keep action figures and toys stowed away.
Second, supervise your puppy's activities in the home. If he's not in the room with you, you won't know what he's up to. Use baby gates to keep him near you, or consider tying a long leash from his collar to your belt. If he does grab something he shouldn't, don't chase him; this makes it a game. Instead, hold a treat so he knows you have something for him, and offer the goodie in exchange for the item he's holding. Praise him for swapping the item for the treat, and put the item out of reach and out of sight.