A 6-week-old St. Mary's County boy was in critical condition yesterday after being dragged from his playpen and mauled by the family's dachshund, police said.

The infant was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom Sunday morning when his mother, Andrea Meyers, heard cries coming from a baby monitor, according to a report from the criminal investigations unit of the Maryland State Police. When Meyers reached the bedroom, she found the dog attacking the boy, police said.

The dog had chewed a hole through the mesh of the playpen and pulled the baby from it, the report states, before biting his legs and feet. When police arrived at the St. Mary's City home, the baby was alert but had numerous lacerations on his lower body, a detective sergeant said.

Although state police identified the mother, Cpl. Roger Redmond refused to provide the name of the child on grounds he was a juvenile. Redmond said police were continuing their investigation.

No one answered the telephone at the family home yesterday.

The child was flown to Children's Hospital in Washington, where he was reported in critical condition last evening, hospital spokeswoman Ashley Wolfington said.

Police said the incident was unlike any they could remember in St. Mary's County, particularly with such a diminutive dog. Dachshunds have short legs and long bodies. Even the biggest of the breed weigh only 16 to 32 pounds, according to the Dachshund Club of America.

They aren't typically aggressive, yet preparation is required to familiarize a dog with a new child, said Andra O'Connell, secretary of the New York-based club.

Otherwise, the animal -- which comes from a hunting breed -- feels like an overlooked older child, she said.

"The dachshund is so incredibly tuned to being a family dog," O'Connell said yesterday. "They are very loyal to their family and owners. They don't want to be left out, and for that reason, they will get upset. But attack, no. That's not normal."

St. Mary's County animal control officers removed the dog from the Meyers home after the attack.