Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
GSDs and other prick-eared dogs don't tend to have as many ear problems as dogs with big, floppy, hairy ears like Cockers. A Cocker should have its ears cleaned (or checked) at least twice a week. A GSD? Heck, I gave my GSD a bath a couple weeks ago, I cleaned her ears then, but they weren't very dirty--I think it had been a couple of months since the last time I'd cleaned them.
I don't really even look at my GSD's ears unless she is holding her head or ears funny. Now, my Akbash dog, who had floppy ears, was prone to infections so I would do the "sniff test" on his ears about once a week. A dog's ears should smell like nothing--if there is any odor, I get down with the ear cleaner. Despite being an outdoor dog, his ears stayed relatively clean unless he had an infection brewing.
As a dog groomer, every dog that comes to me gets its ears cleaned whether they need it or not--but like I said, it's the floppy ears you have to watch out for.