Sniffing For Bombs: Meet America's most elite dogs

Lara Logan gets a rare look into the secretive world of working dogs -- some of whose capabilities are military secrets -- and their handlers

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Mike Ritland: The very same thing that they do for our boys overseas in that they detect explosives-- they are a fantastic deterrent-- they use their nose to find, you know, people as well.

Lara Logan: Would an average police dog have found these bombs at the Boston Marathon if they'd already been placed on the ground, you know, before they were sweeping through there?

Mike Ritland: There is a lot of variables that I'm not aware of as to where they were and what was done in terms of the sweeps. But based on what I do know, yes iif dogs went through the areas where they were placed-- you know, your average, certified police bomb dog should have found them. My thoughts are if these guys are paying close attention to these dogs, they're waiting. And when the dogs leave, they bring it in, they hand-- they infiltrate, essentially, they drop it right where it's busy, and very soon after, it detonates.

Mike Ritland knows from his own experience on the ground in Iraq what it means to have one of these elite dogs on your team.

Mike Ritland: When you step outside that wire--

Lara Logan: Like outside the base?

Mike Ritland: Outside the base. It's crossing the border to hell on Earth. Every step you take is that same feeling of, "The very next step that I take may be my last." When you see these dogs operate in the capacity that they can, using their nose and finding explosives in the manner that they do, the-- that level of comfort absolutely skyrockets in your mind, because you know that you've got one of the best-trained, best-equipped, best-capable, you know, working dogs out in front of you that has your back.

We met Mike Ritland on his 20-acre ranch in rural Cooper, Texas where he runs his own company.

Lara Logan: Tell me some of the things that these dogs can actually do. They jump out of planes? Helicopters?

Mike Ritland: You can free-fall with 'em. You can rappel with 'em. You can fast-rope with 'em. You can swim with 'em. I mean, they can ride on boats. They can ride on your back. There's not really an environment that we operate in that you can't bring a dog.

There's such a demand for them that Mike Ritland says they'd be used on almost every mission if there were enough of them. And it's not just about their nose. Ritland is training this dog, Rico, to track humans and take down enemy fighters.

He's three and a half years old and Ritland has been working with him for the past year. Here, he's about to apprehend a suspect. These dogs can run faster than 30 miles an hour.

The suspect is one of Mike Ritland's partners, and he's screaming to make this as realistic as possible. These dogs are trained to capture, not to kill.

Mike Ritland: There's no human being on Earth that can out run them. You know, I can tell you that the physical capability of these dogs is impossible to explain and even hard to comprehend when you see it.

Lara Logan: How hard can they bite?