A DOG has bitten a man in Maryborough early this morning, prompting police to warn people about the dangers of patting animals they are not familiar with.
The man told police he was walking along Goldsmith Street at 3.30am this morning when he saw the animal, Acting Sergeant Richard Jane said.
"The victim heard it come up behind him. At first he thought it was friendly and he has reached out to pat it," he said.
"It's then latched onto his right hand. The victim has punched the dog in the head but it would not let go, so he growled at it."
The dog then let go, snarled and looked like it was going to bite again, the man told police.
He yelled out in fear and the dog left.
Police were told the animal could possibly have been a harlequin Great Dane or another large breed.
Officers were unable to find the dog and have notified the Central Goldfields Council of the incident.
The man had minor injuries to his finger and thumb and police advised he seek medical treatment, Acting Sergeant Jane said.
"Police advise adults and children not to pat unfamiliar dogs," he said.