A Rotorua man who has been praised for the caring way he raised his dog has been attacked by his own pitbull.
The owner suffered severe injuries to his hand after his 2-year-old American pitbull lunged at him last weekend.
The man, who had raised the dog since it was two weeks old, was sitting down at home when the dog growled and attacked him. The owner managed to get free and ran outside, slamming a gate between himself and the animal.
Rotorua District Council animal control supervisor Kevin Coutts said when attacks of this kind cropped up there was usually something behind the attack. However, he said this case was different, raising a serious concern for dog owners.
He said he would often check the condition of an aggressive dog and see it did not have appropriate care, exercise or was simply ill-treated.
"But this dog had none of those. The condition of the dog was excellent. It had been well looked after, almost babied, and it was extremely well fed and exercised.
"The owner, apart from not having the dog registered, was a very, very good dog owner."
He said the dog owner had even bottle fed the pitbull as a pup.
"A lot of people will say dogs will only bite because of the environment they have been living in, and that may be the case in the majority of attacks. But in this case the owner ticked all the boxes and still got attacked by his own dog."
Mr Coutts said all dogs were capable of biting and owners needed to be more aware of the signs of aggression.
"Always be aware that every dog can bite," he said. "[And if they are aggressive] ask for professional help because there are a lot of dog trainers out there."
He said one of the worst things you could do was try and discipline your dog by kicking it or hurting it.
He said the American pitbull was put down on Monday.
The dog owner said he was gutted his dog was put down.