Getting a puppy can be an exciting time, but it is important to make sure you know how to keep your puppy's ears clean as this is integral to the dog's hygiene (more information here). This is because the shape of a puppy's ear can be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and parasites as their ears curve inwards. Not only can this affect the dog's hygiene and cause an unsightly appearance and smell, it can also prove very uncomfortable for your puppy and give them earache.
It is important to clean your puppy's ears roughly once a week, however they may need to be cleaned more if your puppy often gets their ears wet or if they are a breed with smaller ears which in turn will be more prone to trapping debris and bacteria. You should clean your puppy's ears using a specialist solution from either a pet store or your local vets clinic. Using soap and water is not as effective as only a cleanser created purely for this purpose can properly help to preserve the dog's hygiene.
The solution should be dropped into both ears and then massaged for a few seconds to ensure it has been absorbed properly. Allow your puppy to shake any excess from their ears first and then wipe away any cleanser and ear wax with either a cloth or very gently with a cotton bud. Most puppies don't enjoy having their ears cleaned, however it is important as a responsible owner that you make the effort to do so regularly. If you notice that your puppy is protesting more than usual, shakes their head vigorously after application of the cleanser or that after cleaning you can smell a foul smell from their ears, they made need to be seen by your vet.