It can be hard to keep clothes on your sheep. Not all sheep enjoy wearing clothes. Some will try their utmost to remove the garments you lovingly put on them, whether you dressed them for reasons of fashion, dignity, or economics. How can you keep clothes on your sheep? Keeping clothes on your sheep can seem difficult at times, but it is very doable and simple as long as you consider what precisely the sheep could do to remove her or his clothes and you make sure to take steps to prevent those from being possible or, at the very least, unlikely.
Although Velcro or snaps may help dressing your 300-pound sheep significantly simpler, what is easy for you to put on the sheep is easy for the sheep to take off. Clever human toddlers with sufficient strength or curiosity have been known to undo and pull off their buttoned shirts and zipped trousers. Grown sheep and even young lambs can be just as ingenious. Of course, just as humans vary in strength and cleverness, so, too, do sheep. If you have enormous sheep who likes to roll about, it may be advisable to do more thinking about how they might not keep clothes on than you would for a day-old lamb.
The most suitable clothing for an outdoor sheep is one which covers the sheep’s back and sides and leaves the sheep free to relieve herself or himself without interfering with the clothes. This is why sheep clothing currently sold is frequently ‘coats’ or ‘covers’. These can protect the sheep’s wool— some of it, anyway— but still leave the sheep largely unaffected in its daily life. They might only cover the back or also go around the sheep’s chest. Ideally, it is one piece— but this is more difficult to dress a sheep with.
Indoor sheep, who may also wear diapers, have as wide a range for clothing options as you are willing to put time in for. Coats and covers should still be the simplest, but you can also put trousers on your sheep; the diaper removes one major consideration that would prevent one from considering trousers for an outdoor sheep. A poorly-behaved sheep is difficult to keep clothes on, but a few buttons and ties in places the sheep cannot get to with her or his teeth, as well as making sure that the clothing fits well, should solve some problems.
Dress your sheep in what makes sense and do not use anything which can be easily pulled apart through force.
I must also add one last note: Sheep are not stupid. Despite the stereotype of sheep not being particularly bright, sheep are more than capable of getting to that delicious fruit— or taking off their clothes. They do have rather decent memories for other sheep, and I imagine that this good memory extends to being able to remember how they stripped last time. If your sheep removes its clothing, try to figure out how the sheep undressed itself and take steps to avoid letting it happen again by giving it clothes of a different design or size. Prevention is the key to keeping clothes on your sheep.
For a little story, even week-old lambs are not fools. When Lambert was being loud and trying to find wires and clothes to chew, my father put a towel over young Lambert’s head to trick her into thinking it was nighttime and therefore time to go to sleep. It worked— until Lambert figured out that she could make the towel fall off by lowering her head. From then on, every time there was towel-induced darkness, she lowered her head to try to make the towel fall off. My father simply started using bath towels instead of hand towels. The larger size meant that it stayed on her even when she lowered her head. Weeks later, when he put a smaller towel over her, she still remembered to lower her head so that the small towel would fall off and she could run off to chew on wires.