Waikato police say a dog handler had to fire a warning shot to prevent a man at the centre of a high-speed vehicle pursuit from choking a police dog to death.
Two men who were injured after the pursuit by police near Hamilton are in hospital and under guard while awaiting surgery.
The pair have been arrested and police want to question them about three robberies in the Domain and on Mount Eden on 17 February.
They say John Koteka, 34, and Alex Tereora, 31, came to their attention after reports of a car speeding through Cambridge on Thursday night.
The car travelled at speeds of 180 km/h and ran over road spikes set up on State Highway 1 at Tamahere, just south of Hamilton, after 10pm on Thursday.
The driver lost control of the car which crashed into trees, and the vehicle's two occupants fled.
Two police dog handlers and a dog tried to arrest one of the men, but police allege that he assaulted one officer and ran away before being found a short time later trying to choke a police dog.
At that point, the dog handler fired a warning shot from his pistol. Police said the shot was enough to distract the man, who released his grip on the dog and was arrested.
A 34-year-old man was detained a little later.
Police said both men are in a stable condition at Waikato Hospital. The police dog was to undergo examination by a vet.