A man has been handed five months home detention after his pit bull terrier mauled a seven-year-old in south Auckland.

The child was left in need or surgery, including 100 facial stitches and a metal plate inserted in his fractured nose, following the attack by his uncle's dog in Takanini last year.

Henare Carroll was on Thursday handed the sentence at the Papakura District Court after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of owning a dog that injured a person and one charge of owning a dog that attacked a person, Auckland Council says.

The charges related to the attack on the boy and a person who tried to protect him. The mauling prompted discussions within Auckland Council about dog control solutions and a call from the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons for a review of dog licensing standards.


It led to a council campaign to de-sex and register menacing dogs. Council Regulatory Committee chair Linda Cooper said Thursday's sentence sent a warning to owners of dangerous dogs.

"This decision by the court sends a clear message to owners and people in possession of dogs that these matters are taken seriously and people will be held accountable," she said.

A New Zealand 2015 study revealed, on average, two people were hospitalised with dog-bite injuries every day.

Over a third of those in the past 10 years were children, mostly with facial injuries.