Belgian Malinois Yoda – Hero Dog


Belgian Malinois Yoda

 Hero Dog

Last week I was following a true crime case in the news about an escaped prisoner in Pennsylvania USA. The convict had been on the run for almost two weeks, keeping the police and other authorities at bay by hiding in dense undergrowth, stealing a van and worst of all, acquiring a gun by robbing a householder. The situation was extremely dangerous, not only had this man killed twice before and been given a life sentence, he was now armed, and had nothing to lose.

On the fourteenth day thermal imaging from an aircraft detected a heat source in dense woodland. The police waited patiently for signs of movement, but it appeared that the escaped prisoner was resting. The Customs and Border Patrol team  surrounded the area then sent in their highly trained search dog called Yoda, who managed to approach and restrain the man , before he could his engage his weapon. The dog was trained to ‘bite and hold’ which he did, leaving the prisoner with a bleeding scalp wound, but no shots were fired and no lives lost.

This photograph (credit Philadelphia Inquirer) shows the moment of capture, with Yoda restraining the prisoner until officers could confiscate the weapon and apply handcuffs.


I wonder what went through the handler’s mind as he released Yoda into that critical situation. Although they knew the prisoner’s position, they had no way of knowing how alert he was. The dog was highly trained with a job to do, that was to limit the loss of human life, and this well thought out plan was the best option.

I hope Canine Officer Yoda gets an award for his immense bravery in this highly dangerous situation. There is absolutely no doubt that he saved lives that day and his handlers, colleagues and countrymen should be extremely proud.

I haven’t used the fugitives name in this article out of respect for his victims and their families, who have suffered too much. However this story is outlined here.

A short video about Yoda from Fox43 News on Youtube

Belgian Malinois

About The Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a breed of working dog that is known for its intelligence, agility, and versatility.

Here are some key characteristics and information about the Belgian Malinois:

  1. History: The Belgian Malinois is one of four Belgian shepherd dog breeds. It originated in the late 19th century in the region of Malines, Belgium. They were initially bred as herding dogs, but they have since become popular in various working roles.
  2. Appearance: They are medium-sized dogs with a well-balanced, athletic build. Malinois have a short, straight coat that is  fawn to mahogany in colour with a black mask on their face. They have a black overlay on their back.
  3. Temperament: Malinois are highly intelligent and have a strong work ethic. They are known for their loyalty, trainability, and protective instincts. They are  used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and in various other working roles.
  4. Energy Level: These dogs are very active and require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive on activities like obedience training, agility, and playing fetch.
  5. Trainability: Belgian Malinois are quick learners and highly trainable. They excel in obedience training and are  taught a wide range of commands and tasks.
  6. Socialization: Proper socialization is essential for Belgian Malinois from a young age to ensure they are well-adjusted and can interact positively with people and other animals.
  7. Health: Like all breeds ,they can be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.
  8. Family Pets: While Belgian Malinois make devoted family pets for those who can meet their exercise and training needs, they are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners. They require an owner who understands their high energy levels and strong working drive.
  9. Popularity: Belgian Malinois have gained popularity in recent years, partly due to their appearances in movies and television shows. However, potential owners should be aware of the breed’s specific requirements and be prepared to provide the necessary training and activity.

Belgian Malinois

Films and TV Series Where Belgian Malinois Have Made Appearances

  • Bulletproof 2 (2020): This action-comedy movie features a Belgian Malinois as a loyal and highly skilled police dog that assists the main characters in solving crimes.
  • SEAL Team (TV series, 2017-2021): While not a movie, this TV series about a Navy SEAL team often features Belgian Malinois dogs in various episodes, highlighting their roles in military operations.
  • Max (2015): This family drama film tells the story of a Belgian Malinois named Max who helps his Marine handler’s family cope with their loss while uncovering a mystery.
  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (2018): Although the main character in this animated film is Stubby, a stray dog who becomes a war hero during World War I, a Belgian Malinois also appears as one of the soldiers’ canine companions.

You can read more about Sergeant Stubby in this blog post.



Belgian Malinois and GSD
The German Shepherd on the left is a larger breed of dog . The Belgian Malinois has a shorter coat and a distinctive black mask.
The  Difference Between Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd Dog Breeds

Both Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and capable working dogs, but Belgian Malinois are typically smaller, more intense, and require a higher level of activity and training.

German Shepherds are larger, more balanced in energy, and are known for their versatility in various working roles.

Do Belgian Malinois Make Suitable Pets?

Belgian Malinois don’t always make ideal pets for everyone due to their intense energy levels, high intelligence, and strong work drive. They demand extensive physical exercise, mental stimulation, and structured training. Without proper outlets, they can become bored and display undesirable behaviours, such as destructiveness or excessive barking. Their protective instincts may lead to aggression if not well-socialized. Additionally, novice owners may struggle to handle their intensity. These dogs thrive in working roles but may overwhelm households seeking a more relaxed companion. However, with experienced owners willing to meet their needs, Belgian Malinois can make loyal and loving pets.

Additional Reading

The German Shepherd Dog Breed

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