For the third time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been given a puppy as a gift.

This one is a Central Asian Shepherd bestowed by the president of Turkmenistan on Wednesday.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov presented Mr Putin with the puppy as a birthday gift. Mr Putin, an avid dog lover, turned 65 over the weekend.

President Putin cuddled Verny, which is Russian for “loyal”, and kissed the pup on the head during a meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Mr Putin previously received a Bulgarian shepherd named Buffy from Bulgaria’s premier and an Akita named Yume from a Japanese official.

Vladimir Putin holds a puppy presented by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. (AP)Vladimir Putin holds a puppy presented by Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. (AP)

The Russian leader also has been given horses and even a tiger.

Turkmenistan is a former Soviet republic.