The three-year-old boy who was badly bitten on the throat by a dog in Ashburton remains in a stable but critical condition in Christchurch Hospital today.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when the doberman-staffordshire-bull-terrier wanted the chocolate the young boy was eating.

Yesterday his family asked for privacy, but thanked Ashburton road workers and ambulance staff who were the first on the scene to help save their little boy's life.

The dog was destroyed by the Ashburton District Council on the day of the attack.