Police shot at - and missed - a snarling dog up to 12 times outside a Porirua house last night, after a man tried to incite the animal into attacking the officers.
The 19-year-old man also threw a tomahawk axe, logs and bottles at police who had come to arrest him, before hiding behind a fence and turning to use his partner's rottweiler on the officers.
Police were called to the house, on the corner of Mungavin and Warspite Avenues, about 10.40pm to attend a domestic incident involving the man and the dog-owner.
The officers searched the property, finding the man in the back yard. He began throwing objects at police, before leaping over the back fence and re-arming himself with an axe and a baseball bat.
Inspector John Spence said the man then took his partner's rottweiler and "hyped it up, pulling its lead and screaming at the dog", and set it on police.
Officers at the scene tried to pepper spray the "large, lunging rottweiler", but the spray had no effect.
The young officers at the scene then began shooting at the dog as it ran around the property, he said.
When asked why police fired so many shots at the dog, Mr Spence said shooting at moving things in real life was different to shooting at targets at the range.
"It was a small, fast moving target. I am satisfied no members of the public were put at risk [by the shooting]," he said.
The dog was returned to its owner, and police are not asking for the dog to be put down.
"It belongs to the woman at the house, and we do not want to victimise her further by killing her dog."
The 90-minute stand-off ended when police set their own dogs on the man, inflicting leg wounds serious enough to warrant surgery at Wellington Hospital. Police had three dogs at the scene.
Detectives were still at the house this afternoon, examining the scene and questioning witnesses.
A 19-year-old man will appear in Porirua District Court tomorrow, charged with a number of weapons offences including using a dog as a weapon, and for damaging his neighbour's car.