Witnesses to a vicious dog attack have described seeing a rottweiler ripping at a terrified man's leg and another attacking his head.

The Otago Daily Times understands the attack lasted at least five minutes and the victim suffered extensive bite marks to his face.

The injured man, bleeding from the head, has been taken to Southland Hospital after being attacked in the Southland town of Winton today near Great North Rd.

Police were called at 1.24pm to a report of two dogs attacking a man between Russell St and Gow St.

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Council dog control had been notified, one dog had been caught by police while a hunt was on for a female rottweiler which remained on the loose.

Police were told members of the public chased the dogs away from the victim before taking him into their Great North Rd house.

A person who witnessed the attack told Stuff the victim suffered head injuries and was left bleeding.

"I saw one dog ripping at his leg and another dog having a go at his head.

"He was in total distress."

The witness heard the dogs barking, grabbed a camera and filmed the beginning of the attack before calling police.

The terrified man's screams could be heard during the 111 call.

In a statement, police said they remained in the area working with the council to locate the female dog and to provide reassurance to local people.

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If anyone sees what is described to be a female Rottweiler, they should call police on 111.

In 2013 Chloe Mathewson was mauled to death by two rottweilers in front of a property in the Auckland suburb or Redvale.

The dogs' attack was taped by CCTV cameras monitoring the property.