Voice & Sight Tags
The Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department currently allows for guardians to hike with their dogs off leash on certain designated trails under the Voice and Sight Control Tag program. Thinking you and your dog would be eligible to participate? Consider these requirements and expectations of having your pup off leash and keep in mind that it may take up to a month to complete all of the program requirements before you can take advantage of the off-leash trail system.
What is Voice and Sight Control?
Voice and Sight Requirements and Expectations: It is a high standard to have your dog off leash and under Voice and Sight Control when confronted by distractions, wildlife, other animals like horses, dogs and the occasional cat. We are proud of the dog guardians who have spent countless hours training and working with their pup to ensure they meet the standard!
Voice and Sight control means the ability of a dog guardian to adequately control a dog by using voice commands and sight commands (such as hand gestures). In order for a guardian or keeper to have voice and sight control over a dog, the guardian must:
be able to see the dog's actions; and
be able to prevent the dog from engaging in the following behaviors, using voice and sight commands, without regard to circumstances or distractions:
Charging, chasing, or otherwise displaying aggression toward any person or behaving toward any person in a manner that a reasonable person would find harassing or disturbing;
Charging, chasing, or otherwise displaying aggression toward any dog;
Chasing, harassing, or disturbing wildlife or livestock; or
Failing to come to and stay with the guardian or keeper immediately upon command by such person.
If you need to report a problem with Voice and Sight Control while visiting OSMP, please call the City of Boulder's non-emergency dispatch at 303-441-3333.
New to the Program? Before You Register
Complete the Voice & Sight Education Course
Dog guardians must complete a free online course every 5 years, mandated by law, in order to participate in the Voice & Sight Tag Program. The course covers the specific legal requirements of Voice & Sight control, goes over tips for successfully managing dogs off-leash, and discusses some common scenarios that could be encountered.
Note: a transcript and a screen reader-friendly version are both available through the course link.
Attendance is automatically verified during the registration process. Please wait one full business day between taking the class and registering for Voice and Sight Tags to allow class attendance to be processed for registration. DocuPet will email the education course code to you after processing your attendance which you may need to enter separately into to your DocuPet account.
If you have questions about the course please contact the Voice & Sight Education Team: email@example.com or 303-441-3440.
Provide a current and valid rabies certificate for your dog.
City of Boulder residents are required to have a valid dog license. If you are required to have a city dog license, it must be purchased before the DocuPet system will give you the option to register for Voice and Sight.
Create a DocuPet Account
Almost there! How do we know you put in all the hard work and energy to join the Tag Program? Docupet, our tag administrator, will provide you a Voice and Sight Tag! Tags are required to be proudly displayed on your pup at all times so our Rangers know you completed and understand all of the program requirements!
Complete Registration & Pay
Complete registration in DocuPet and pay for the Voice & Sight Tags. Please allow up to seven business days for tags to be processed and delivered in the mail.
Renew Voice & Sight Tags
Complete Voice & Sight Education Course - if needed
Dog guardians must complete a free online education course every 5 years, mandated by law, in order to continue to participate in the Voice & Sight Tag Program. Attendance is automatically verified during the registration process. Please wait one full business day between taking the class and registering for Voice and Sight Tags to allow class attendance to be processed for registration.
Complete Renewal & Pay
Complete the renewal process in DocuPet and pay the renewal fee. Please allow up to seven business days for tags to be processed and delivered in the mail.
All Voice & Sight Tags expire on December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually.
The registration fee includes 1 dog and 1 guardian. The fee for each additional guardian in a household is $5, and the fee for each additional dog is $10.
If you renew between November 1 and January 31, the following discounted renewal rate applies to all dogs and people currently registered to your household:
- City of Boulder residents: $5.
- Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $20.
- Non-Boulder County residents: $30.
Initial Registration Fees/Renewal After January 31:
- City of Boulder residents: $13.
- Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $33.
- Non-Boulder County residents: $75.
The additional guardian and dog registration fees will be waived for City of Boulder households who meet income criteria consistent with the City of Boulder Food Tax Rebate Program or the Parks and Recreation Reduced Rate Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Voice and Sight Tag Program?
In 2006, OSMP rolled out the Voice and Sight Tag Program, which allows dogs to access designated trails off leash if they display special participation tags and they are under “voice and sight control” of their guardians at all times. In 2015, new program changes went into effect which require all program participants to complete an education class, verify a City of Boulder dog license or rabies vaccination for all dogs participating in the program and pay revised program fees.
Can I walk my dog off-leash within the city limits of Boulder after I have purchased a tag?
The Voice and Sight Tag Program applies only to certain City of Boulder lands where having a dog on a leash is not required. On-leash control is always required within the city limits of Boulder except in specially designated dog parks or other areas specifically exempted from this requirement. All trails posted as requiring a leash prohibit the use of voice and sight control.
What is Voice & Sight Control in the Corridor?
Some trails require that visitors stay on the trail and also allow dogs to be managed under voice and sight control. The purpose for requiring people to stay on trail is to limit impacts to the area where the trail is located in sensitive resource and restoration areas. On trails where dog guardians are required to stay on trail and dogs can be managed under voice and sight control, dogs are allowed no more than 20 feet away from the trail.
Is participating in the program a requirement or just a request?
It is required by law for anyone intending to use voice and sight control privileges. Participation in the program and displaying a valid program tag on all dogs under voice and sight control is required by the Boulder Revised Code (BRC) 6-1-16 and 6-13-2 through 6-13-5.
Is the Voice and Sight Tag unique to a specific dog?
Yes, the tag signifies that the dog guardian has registered in the program and that the dog meets vaccination requirements.
Is there a test or certification process associated with getting Voice and Sight Tags?
No. By registering for the program and displaying the tags on your dog, you are simply stating that you have attended the education class on voice and sight control. You also agree to walk your dog under voice and sight control terms while on City of Boulder lands that allow voice and sight control.
Where should I train my dog in voice and sight control?
Public dog parks allow dogs to be off-leash even if they don't meet the voice and sight control standard.
How do I get a replacement for a lost tag?
You can replace a lost tag online through the renew/update link, or by coming in to one of our offices - details on locations and office hours are available above.
Why register as "Dog Walker Only"?
If you don't intend to register a dog and only walk other peoples dogs under voice and sight control; the registration process is streamlined to not include dog information. No tags will be shipped.
Note: If you are a commercial dog-walker, you will also need a Commercial Use Permit to bring dogs to Open Space and Mountain Parks.
If you end up acquiring a dog after registering as a "Dog Walker Only" you can add dogs to your household account by calling 303-441-3440.
- Complete the Voice and Sight Class. Attendance is automatically verified during the registration process. Please wait one full business day between taking the class and registering for Voice and Sight Tags to allow class attendance to be processed for registration.
- City of Boulder Residents need to purchase a City of Boulder dog license for the current year before Voice and Sight Tag registration.
- Guardians residing outside the City of Boulder need to have a copy of each dog’s rabies vaccination certificate available as a PDF, picture or a graphic file to upload when registering.
- Credit card for payment.
How long will it take me to get my tags after I have ordered them online?
Please allow up to seven business days for tags to be processed and delivered in the mail.
Yes, the OSMP Office is open to the public for limited office hours listed on the OSMP Administrative Office page.
What is needed for providing proof of a valid rabies vaccination?
A rabies vaccination certificate is provided by a veterinarian after inoculation and commonly includes information about the dog, dog guardian, and rabies vaccination date and expiration. The rabies vaccination must be valid at the time of registration. If you do not have a copy of a document with this information, contact your veterinarian to obtain a copy. A rabies tag will not be accepted as proof of vaccination. View a sample rabies certificate PDF.
If my dog cannot get a rabies vaccination for medical reasons, what can I do to be compliant with the rabies vaccination requirement?
Exemption from the rabies vaccination requirement is possible with a letter from a veterinarian affirming that the animal is medically unable to receive the required vaccination. If you are a City of Boulder resident, you’ll need to provide this waiver when you purchase your Boulder dog license. If you live outside the City of Boulder, you’ll provide the waiver at the time of registering for your Voice and Sight Tags. If you purchase tags online, you’ll upload a copy of the waiver instead of proof of vaccination.
How do I upload my dog's rabies certificate?
- If you have a hard copy of the vaccination certificate, you can take a picture with a phone or camera to create a picture file that can be uploaded, or scan a copy of the document.
- Call the veterinary clinic where your dog received the rabies vaccination and they may be able to email a copy of the certificate.
- A photo of your dog's rabies tag is not acceptable.
Do I have to renew the tag every year?
Yes, all Voice and Sight Tags expire Dec. 31 of each year. If you included an email in your account, you will be sent a reminder each year for when it is time to renew.
Do I have to take the class again?
To stay active in the program, participants must pay annual renewal fees, and complete an online refresher education course at least every five years.
Am I protected from getting a ticket if my dog has a Voice and Sight Control Tag?
No. A dog guardian who participates in the program and walks a dog under voice and sight control in areas where it is allowed may still be issued for any violation of voice and sight control rules including but not limited to the following infractions:
- The dog guardian is walking more than two dogs under voice and sight control;
- The dog guardian is not carrying a leash for each dog being walked under voice and sight control;
- The dog guardian fails to display a voice and sight tag on dog;
- The dog guardian has a dog under voice and sight control and is not registered in the Voice and Sight Tag Program
- The dog is not within the guardian’s sight and under voice control at all times;
- The dog does not come to and stay with the guardian immediately upon command;
- The dog charges, chases or otherwise displays aggression toward any person, or behaves in a way that any reasonable person may find harassing or disturbing;
- The dog charges, chases or otherwise displays aggression toward any dog; or
- The dog chases, harasses or disturbs wildlife or livestock.
What are the penalties associated with violations?
Offenses related to not meeting the requirements of the Voice and Sight Tag Program, off-leash or voice and sight control violations, and dog at large circumstances are subject to a maximum penalty for a first violation of $100. For a second violation within 24 months, the maximum penalty is a fine of $200. A third violation within the same 24 months will result in a fine of not less than $300. Additionally, the courts may impose conditions that require attendance at the education class related to voice and sight control, evaluation or training of the dog, or temporary suspension or permanent revocation of voice and sight control privileges for egregious violations or repeat offenders.