A 21-year-old man was badly hurt after he was attacked by as many as six dogs on a northern Alberta reserve.

The man was walking along a road on the Saddle Lake reserve at around midnight Thursday with two other people when he was attacked, said RCMP.

The group was passing in front of a home when a dog, described as a pitbull or bulldog, suddenly launched at the victim, biting into his face.

Other dogs, reportedly belonging to the same home, also attacked and bit the man on the arm and hand.

The victim's companions tried to fight off the dogs, however the attack did not end until the homeowner pulled the dogs away, said police.

"They were walking past a house when as many as six dogs began to attack him,"  said Const. John Spaans. "He was essentially mauled, sustained injuries to all different parts of his body."

The victim sustained extensive lacerations to his face and arms and is recovering in hospital.