The 11-year-old plunged into the water after he spotted the helpless dog struggling for life and plucked it to safety.
The pooch had been tied in a sack weighed down with bricks in Fuzhou, eastern China.
‘It was very cruel to try to drown him. I didn’t really think about it – I just jumped in,’ said Dan.
It is believed the dog survived because the water was deep enough to cushion the blow but shallow enough to allow it to poke its head out of the sack.
Dan has been told he can keep the dog – believed to be just six months old – as a pet. He and his brother, Yau, seven, have yet to name it.