Charles Bonser, from Ironbridge, has been awarded for his selflessness and bravery by being given the Binney Medal at the Police Public Bravery Awards held in Harrogate, and is only one of 70 people in the UK with the medal.
On June 5 last year Mr Bonser, 48, was driving past a mother and her three-year-old daughter as they walked down Beech Road in Woodside, Telford.
A loose pitbull mastiff was circling the pair and Mr Bonser saw the danger and prevented the dog attacking the girl as it lunged for her bearing its teeth.
But his courageous act came at a price as Mr Bonser was attacked by the dog himself and was left with hand injuries after the dog went to bite his face.
Mr Bonser, who has relatives in Wolverhampton, said: “It was terrifying, but all I could think is that I needed to stop the little girl getting attacked.
“I didn’t think about myself at all. I had read the stories and knew what damage this dog could do to a child.”
For a time Mr Bonser, who lives on Hodge Bower, lost the use of his hands for a time after the attack and even now he still has problems.
Mr Bonser was given two awards at the awards ceremony.
He was awarded the Gold Medal for bravery as well as the prestigious Binney Award.