A father kept an illegal pitbull dog at his family home and let his one-year-old son wrestle with it, a court heard.
Reckless Dean Garrett, 27, claimed three-year-old 'devil dog' Bookey B was docile enough for his little boy to ride on its back and bang on its cage.
But when police seized the illegal animal from the home they said it snarled, growled and was ready to attack them.
Officers were called to the property in Northam, Devon, on April 7, North Devon Magistrates' Court heard.
Garrett appeared in court for a destruction order and magistrates ruled it should be put down.
PC Lee Adamson told the hearing: "I have no doubt that if the dog had not been in a cage she would have gone for us.
"There is a one-year-old child in the family and my concern is that the dog will end up biting someone at some point.
"The trouble with these dogs is that once they decide to go for someone it takes amazing things to get them off."
The animal was taken to a police kennel before officers applied to have her destroyed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Representing himself, Garret said: "She walks beside me on the pavement without the lead or muzzle. I throw a ball for her in the park and she will always come back.
"She is not interested in anything else. My son, who is one, wrestles her and she never minds, he tries to ride her.
"He also sits in front of her cage and bangs on it and rocks it."
Presiding Magistrate Paul Cooper said: "We are satisfied that Bookey does constitute a danger and it is with regret that we will be making a destruction order."