Colorado is a great state for owning a dog. There is nothing like having your four-legged friend by your side as you hike to the top of a Colorado 14er.

What kinds of dogs are allowed in Colorado? Does your dog need to be licensed? Does it need to be on a leash most of the time? Scroll on to learn more about dog ownership in Colorado including licensing, leash laws, and breed restrictions.

ESPN Western Colorado logo
Get our free mobile app

What are Colorado's Dog Licensing Laws?

In Colorado, getting a license for your dog is usually required within 30 days of the dog entering the state. While not all areas require licensing, most do. In Mesa County, it is required that a dog owner license the animal.

Licensing can be done online, in person, or by mail. While a local humane society can license a pet, your local veterinarian likely also offers this service. Dogs and Cats over four months old in Colorado are also required to have a rabies vaccination. Find out more about licensing in Mesa County, Colorado here. 

What Leash Laws Exist in Colorado?

Colorado does not have a state-wide leash law on the books in 2023, but the state does require all dogs must be under control at all times. The state gives local governments the authority to create leash laws. Communities like Aspen, Colorado Springs, Denver, Golden, and Sterling prohibit dogs from running loose in town. Dogs found roaming free in these communities may be impounded, and the animal's owner is subject to fines or possible jail time.

In Mesa County, dogs are required to be on a leash no longer than 10 feet when in a park or open space unless otherwise indicated by posted signs. The city of Grand Junction has two off-leash dog parks. One is located at Canyon View Park and the other at Las Colonias Park. Rules for dogs are posted on the grounds. Find more off-leash areas in Mesa County here.

Dog Breed Restrictions in Colorado

The following dog breeds are not allowed in several communities in the state of Colorado. Cane Corsos, American Bulldogs, Tosa Inus, Presa Mallorquins, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasilairos, and Canary Dogs. Find out more about breed-specific legislation in Colorado here.

In Mesa County, issues with dogs can be reported to Mesa County Animal Services by calling 970-242-4646 or by email to

MORE: Grand Junction Shares Photos of the Adorable Pets They Love

In celebration of Love Your Pet Day, we asked our listeners to share a photo of their pet with us that we could put in a gallery. Scroll through the adorable photos below and enjoy looking at the dogs and cats we love to love.

MORE: See Which Pets are Banned by Each State

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.