A Staffordshire terrier.
© DPAA Staffordshire terrier.
A 52-year-old woman and her 27-year-old son have been found dead at their home in northern Germany after apparently being mauled by their Staffordshire terrier, police said Wednesday.

The pair were discovered at their flat in Hanover, capital of Lower Saxony, on Tuesday evening, after a relative saw the bloodied body of one of the victims through a window and rang the emergency services.

Firefighters were called in to capture the dog who was still inside the residence, Hanover police said in a statement.

Fire personnel broke down the door and caught the dog by using a sling.

"Initial examinations by a coroner suggest the 52-year-old woman and her 27-year-old son were killed by the dog," it read.

Police investigations into the incident are continuing, the statement added.

A law change implemented several years ago means that all dog owners in Lower Saxony have to obtain a Hundeführerschein (dog holding licence) when they buy a canine.

To obtain the licence, owners have to pass a theoretical test before they buy the dog and a practical test within a year of purchasing the animal. The licence was instructed in order to bring down the number of deaths and injuries caused by attack dogs.