In the wake of a dog attack on a preschooler in Auckland on Saturday, Timaru police say it is fortunate most dog owners are responsible here.
Sergeant David Hinde said dog attacks were not a huge problem in Timaru. In his 22 years on the force he had attended only one or two incidents.
He said the council dog control staff dealt with most dog attacks, but if a child was mauled then police were also involved.
Laws around dog control were tightened in 2006 with the introduction of microchipping but that did not stop them biting, Hinde said.
"They're (dogs) unpredictable and sometimes they are not reported when they should be."
He said different breeds had different temperaments and it was not always the way they were treated which made an impact on how they behaved.
"It's a judgment call for the parents whether they leave a child unsupervised with a (dangerous breed) dog or not."
The 4-year-old Auckland victim was rushed to Middlemore Hospital with life-threatening injuries and was listed in a serious but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit.
- The Timaru Herald