George, the nine-year-old Jack Russell terrier who defended a group of children from being attacked from two pitbulls, will receive a posthumous medal for bravery from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The award will be the second for George, after American Jerrell Hudman said he was sending his Purple Heart medal awarded during from the Vietnam War to New Zealand to honour the bravery of the terrier.
The recognition comes after two pitbulls rushed at five children walking to a dairy in the Taranaki town of Manaia, last month.
The children, accompanied by George, were threatened by the pitbulls which were aiming for a four-year-old boy.
George started barking and charged at the pitbulls as the children ran away.
George's owner, 69-year-old Alan Gay, said the pitbulls savaged George until a passing motorist intervened and managed to separate the dogs.
George was later put down because of his injuries and the pitbulls which attacked George were destroyed.
The SPCA's annual meeting in Wellington on Sunday voted to award George the society's Medal for Bravery.
National chief executive, Robyn Kippenberger said the decision was taken unanimously by representatives of the SPCA from across New Zealand.
"George was a very brave little dog, who almost certainly prevented severe injury, if not death, to at least one of the children.
"It's truly tragic that he paid with his own life for his instinctive act of courage. Our hearts go out to George's owner, Alan Gay, and to the children involved in this dreadful incident."
The medal is normally awarded for outstanding acts of bravery by humans in defence of animals.
"But, in George's case, we are honouring an animal's outstanding act of bravery to save humans. It seems a highly appropriate thing for us to do," she said.
Mr Gay will receive George's medal from Ms Kippenberger at a ceremony at Manaia Primary School on May 18.
Mr Hudman was so moved by the Jack Russell's story of sacrifice that he was sending George his Purple Heart medal, The Taranaki Daily News reported on Saturday.
Mr Hudman,58, of Austin, Texas was a US Marine for 30 years and described George as a little warrior.
He said his wife Alice came across George's story when she was reading news on the internet.
George's picture now graces the wall in the Hudmans' computer room.
Mr Hudman said the dog-loving couple immediately decided George's memory deserved the medal, awarded to him in Vietnam in 1967 for being wounded in combat.
"I was with the Ninth Marines and we were up by Kontum and a mortar round came in and landed in a hole where myself and some other Marines were. I was one of the lucky ones who survived."
The Purple Heart is one of three he received in Vietnam and it will arrive in Manaia by post within the next few weeks.