1760, "young dog," shortened form of puppy (q.v.). Used earlier (from 1580s) for "conceited person," from the figurative sense of puppy. An English-Latin wordbook from late 15c. for Latin pupa gives English pup-bairn. Applied to the young of the fur seal from 1815. Used for "inexperienced person" by 1890.
Pup tent (also dog tent) as a type of small tent used in the military is from 1863. Sopwith pup, popular name of the Sopwith Scout Tractor airplane, is from 1917.