A toddler attacked by a dog in Ashburton remains in a critical condition following hours of surgery on Wednesday.
Police say it appears the pitbull doberman staffordshire cross was trying to get a chocolate the three-year-old boy was eating and bit him on the throat.
The attack happened at a family member's home in King Street. St John Ambulance was called about 12.20pm on Wednesday.
The toddler was initially taken to Ashburton Hospital but has been transferred to Christchurch Hospital for surgery.
Ashburton District Council's regulatory manager Richard Wade said the dog has been put down by animal control at the request of its owner, who is a relative of the boy.
Mr Wade said the dog had been registered since 2006 and had never come to the council's attention before this incident.
"As far as we were concerned, it was a normal family dog."