UPDATED 4.14pm: The dog believed to have inflicted significant injuries to a 3-year-old boy in an attack at Matapihi today is known for rushing at people, a neighbour says.

A Waikari Rd resident said the the pit bull was normally tied up at the property but would run at people, including school children, as they went past.

The toddler suffered bite wounds to the face and is recovering at Tauranga Hospital.

EARLIER 12.43pm: The 3-year-old boy who was bitten by a dog at Matapihi this morning will need surgery for his injuries.


The toddler was visiting relatives when he was bitten in the face at 8.40am this morning and taken to Tauranga Hospital.

The dog was secured on a chain in the family's yard at the time of the attack.

Police have confirmed the dog was a pit bull and has been taken by animal control who are working with the family.

EARLIER 11.49am: A toddler bit on the face in a dog attack at Matapihi this morning required doctor's treatment for lacerations to his face but was not "seriously" hurt.

The 3-year-old was at a Waikari Road property at 8.40am when he suffered injuries to his face from a dog, initially reported to be a pit bull.

St John ambulance staff took the boy to Tauranga Hospital, where hospital spokesman said the boy was now "comfortable".

St John team leader Ross Clarke said the child was not considered to be seriously hurt but required doctor's treatment for lacerations to the face.

Police northern communications Inspector Andy Brill said police received a call from ambulance staff for assistance at the scene and officers were responding.


The dog believed to be responsible for the attack has now been removed from the property.

The boy was taken to Tauranga Hospital where a hospital spokesman said the boy was now "comfortable".

Occupants of the Waikari Rd property where the attack happened declined to comment.

Animal control officers were still investigating the incident.