I'd love to clean my 6mo ears more often but its such a struggle to get him to be still. I try now when he's pretty tired but he still struggles. Any tips for training a dog to be calm while getting ears cleaned?
Some dogs, and a LOT of GSDs, just hate having anything done with their ears--I don't know why. Before you try cleaning his ears, just spend a lot of time handling them, massaging them, stroking them, making ear handling a pleasureable experience. Do this while he's sleepy so he doesn't think it's playtime--otherwise you may get your hands chewed on.
As he gets more and more used to having his ears messed with, try sticking a finger in his ear, very gently of course (and don't do it if you have long nails), and get him used to that feeling. When he's well accustomed to having his ears handled, then you can start cleaning. It's a good idea to warm up whatever you're using to clean them with, as many dogs are simply reacting to the cold temperature of whatever is going into the ear. If you have a small bottle of ear cleaner, put it in your pocket for a while. Or use warm water on a washcloth. After cleaning his ears, give him a treat. If you make this a daily regimen, he'll start to look forward to it!