The father of a four-year-old girl who was bitten by a pit bull wants the dog to be euthanized.

Martin Geertsema's daughter Maria was bitten on the forehead while visiting a home in Cole Harbour on Sunday.

Maria was taken to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, where she underwent surgery. She has some nerve damage and possible scarring, her father said.

"The fact is that had this dog bitten my daughter an inch lower she would probably have lost her eye. Had it been six inches lower and gone for the throat, this would have been an entirely different story," Geertsema told CBC News.

He said the dog was not provoked and he doesn't know why it attacked his daughter.

"Because of that we do kind of feel like this dog should be put down," he said.

The dog is an American Staffordshire terrier. Its owner did not return calls from CBC News.

HRM Animal Services said the dog was picked up Monday morning and brought to the pound in Burnside. The animal will stay there until tests are complete.

The owner could be issued a warning or the dog could be seized for good. The fact that the animal attacked a child is important.

"That's a huge factor when we continue on with our investigation. Severity is part of it," said Andrea MacDonald, with Animal Services.

Tiffany Sullivan, assistant manager of the Homeward Bound pound, said American Staffordshire terriers may appear vicious but don't bite any more often than other breeds.

"It's not any certain breed that we can pinpoint, 'Oh, this is a bad breed, that's a bad breed.' It's just lack of socialization and lack of training in general," she said.

Meanwhile, Maria is expected to remain in hospital for another day or two to ensure her wound is not infected.