The Pharaoh Hound's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Malta Original purpose: Name: Maltese name, Kelb-tal Fenek, literally translates as "Dog of the Rabbit" or more simply "Rabbit Dog." Historical notes: For many years, this breed was thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds. However, recent DNA analysis reveals that the breed was created much more recently and only bred to resemble ancient breeds of dogs. The Pharaoh Hound is the national dog of Malta.