Police said the pit bull had the child by the head and shoulder, and continued to be aggressive when emergency responders arrived.
The dog had to be subdued by fire and police officials until animal control arrived, officials said.
Neighbor Sarah Toby said her father rushed to help the child as soon as he heard the child screaming two houses away.
"He had to put the dog in between his legs and grabbed his collar and there was another man holding him as well,” Toby said. “It had her hair, so they had to cut her hair, and her scalp was kind of messed up because it pulled her scalp."
Neighbors said that the same pit bull killed a small dog across the street.
“It ran over there and started attacking the dog and then it (the other dog) died,” Toby said.
"Cases like this, it makes pit bulls look not as good. They're adorable. Not all of them are that mean."
The child was taken to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, but was released later in the day.
Iredell County Animal Control is investigating.