Pugs are predisposed to the development of deeply pigmented, slightly elevated hyperkeratotic noncancerous plaques. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of a papillomavirus (PV)-like DNA fragment from such lesions suggested that PV may be responsible for them, although the predicted virus has not yet been identified. The goal of the present study was to make use of pigmented plaques from four pugs to identify and sequence the predicted virus. Taking advantage of the circular nature of PV DNA, the entire viral genome was amplified by rolling circle amplification and restriction enzyme analysis disclosed the same pattern in all four cases. Sequencing of one of the amplificates revealed a novel canine PV, termed CPV4, related to the recently described CPV3 but clearly distinct from canine oral PV and CPV2. Thus, a novel canine PV and a method for its future diagnosis are described.