How To Clean A German Shepherds Ears (Step By Step Guide)

Cleaning your pup’s ears can often be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. But after reading this article you’re going to know exactly how to clean a german shepherd’s ears! (As well as a lot more useful information.)

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

How To Clean Your German Shepherds Ears (Step By Step)

Here’s the step by step guide on how to clean your german shepherd’s ears. If you follow the steps listed below, not only are your german shepherd’s ears going to be fresh and clean, but it’s also going to be an enjoyable experience for them as well.

Step 1 – Checking For Infections And Problems

Before anything, you should check your german shepherd’s ears for infections or other problems. If you do notice either, then you’ll need to take them to the vet straight away instead of cleaning the ears yourself.

Some of the most common signs of infection in your german shepherd’s ears are the following.


If your german shepherd’s ears are red it’s often a sign that they’ve been scratching them a lot or that they’re inflamed. Both of these are common signs that your german shepherd probably has an infection.


You may also notice that the skin around your german shepherds ears seems raised and red. This is a clear sign of inflammation and means you should get your pup’s ears checked ASAP.

(Find out why your german shepherd might be growling at you!)


If you notice any kind of discharge from your pup’s ears, there can be no denying there’s something wrong. Even a lot of ear wax can be a symptom of infection as well.

A Bad Smell

Your german shepherd’s ears will naturally have a certain doggy odor to them. But any other smell will warrant a trip to the vets as well.

(Find out why your german shepherd smells and what you can do about it!)


Lastly, if you notice your german shepherd is constantly scratching their ears, then it shows they’re irritated. Infections are often going to cause this kind of irritation.

If your german shepherd is scratching too much you may also notice scabs and sores.

(Does your german shepherd have bad breath? Find out what to do!)

Step 2 – Prepare Everything You Need

The next step is to prepare everything you need to clean their ears properly. Here are the main things you’re going to need when cleaning your dog’s ears.

Ear Cleaner

Getting a good ear cleaner is essential to keeping your dog’s ears clean and free from infection. If you just try to clean them with regular water, then you’ll end up creating a warm moist atmosphere for bacteria to grow in.

When picking an ear cleaner you should aim to use a vet-approved one.

Cotton Balls

Cotton balls and swabs are great for cleaning around your dog’s ears. However, remember, you should NEVER insert anything into your dog’s ears. If you do, it could end up getting lodged. This can cause permanent damage, and will definitely cost you an expensive trip to the vets.


These may not be necessary, but if your german shepherd has a lot of hair in his ears, then you may need to pluck some out. And don’t worry, german shepherds barely seem to notice when you pluck hairs out of their ears.

But if they do seem uncomfortable, then stop plucking straight away.

Lots Of Treats

If your german shepherd hates any form of medication then you’ll probably need to have some treats handy. Without treats, you’re going to have a much harder time getting them to sit still.


You should avoid infecting your pup’s ears with your hands. Having some gloves handy is going to help avoid transferring bacteria from your hand to their ears. However, if you don’t have any gloves handy make sure that you’re washing your hands thoroughly before cleaning their ears.

A Towel

The moment you’re done with the treatment your german shepherd will probably want to shake his head everywhere to get the medication out. This often means that the formula will end up flying out.

Having a towel handy is going to help you catch most of it, keeping the surrounding area nice and clean.

A Helper

This is going to be 10x easier if you have a helper to keep your german shepherd steady while you place the drops in their ears.

(Check out this helpful guide to stop your german shepherd from getting fleas.)

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Clean Their Ears

The next step now is actually cleaning your pup’s ears. Here’s a step by step breakdown of what you need to do.

  1. Read the instructions on your ear cleaner to find out exactly how to use it.
  2. Get your german shepherd to sit down and sit still. Show them the bottle of ear cleaner and let them sniff it.
  3. Next, hold their head steady, or get your helper too if possible. The best way to keep their head steady is by holding it near the top.
  4. Lift up your german shepherd’s ear and then place the recommended amount of ear cleaner into it. (Normally they’ll recommend adding cleaner until the ear canal is full up.)
  5. Once the cleaner is in, soothe your pup and gently massage the base of their ear in a circular motion. This is going to help the cleaner sink right in. (Make sure you’re keeping their ears out of the way when you’re doing this.)
  6. Now that you’ve added the medication properly, the next step is to prepare for the inevitable splash of medicine. Grab the towel and hold it around your dog’s head. When they shake the towel should catch most of it.
  7. Use the cotton balls to mop up any excess medicine from around the ear as well as any dirt. Once again, remember that you shouldn’t place the cotton balls into your dog’s ears.
  8. Give your german shepherd some treats and lots of praise. Remember, you want to make this a positive experience so they’ll be more happy to do it again.
  9. If necessary repeat the same process for the other ear.

In some cases, you can do the best you can but your german shepherd still won’t let you clean their ears. If this sounds like your dog then you’ll need to take them to the vets to get their ears cleaned.

How Often Should You Clean Your German Shepherds Ears?

How often you should clean your german shepherd’s ears really depends on the individual dog. There are many factors that determine how often, such as whether they swim, if they’re prone to getting ear infections, and a dog’s ear type. (Fortunately, german shepherds have ears that stick up which means they don’t need to be cleaned as often as droopy ears.)

(Ever wonder if you should shave your german shepherd? This article answers your question!)

How Do You Tell When A German Shepherd Needs Their Ears Cleaned?

If you want to know when your german shepherd needs their ears cleaned, you should learn the times when they don’t.

You german shepherds ears are pink and odorless when they’re clean, and they’ll begin to smell slightly and look dirty when they’re not.

However, don’t clean your dog’s ears for the sake of cleaning them. If you overclean them, then you’re going to upset the balance in their ear canal. This often results in an increased risk of ear infections.

Fortunately, because they’re ears are upright not floppy, german shepherds won’t need their ears cleaned frequently.

What Should You Do If You Think Your German Shepherd Has An Ear Infection?

If you think that your german shepherd has an ear infection then you should take them to the vets as soon as you can. You’re not going to be able to treat an ear infection on your own and in most cases, you’ll need to be prescribed antibiotics to help clean the infection up.

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

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Now you know how to clean your pups ears. Here’s a quick recap of the main things you’ll need to remember.

  • Before cleaning their ears, you should inspect them for problems.
  • Next gather everything you need, before you start cleaning.
  • Make sure you’re giving your pup lots of praise and treats throughout.
  • The amount of times you’ll need to clean your german shepherds ears depends on the individual.
  • You can tell when your german shepherds ears need cleaning because they’ll no longer be pink and odorless. In fact, they may look dirty and smell a little bit.
  • If you think your german shepherd has an ear infection you’re not going to be able to fix it by cleaning. Instead, you’ll need antibiotics from your vet.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!


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