Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Kris Knight works with a dog at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, considered the premiere military working dog training facility in the country.
There are some 500 dogs currently deployed in Afghanistan and many were trained at Yuma where they learn to attack the enemy and sniff out bombs.
60 Minutes gets a rare look into the secretive world of working dogs -- some of whose capabilities are military secrets -- and their handlers in Lara Logan's report "Sniffing For Bombs."
(Report originally aired April 21, 2013)
Former Navy Seal Mike Ritland -- pictured here with 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan -- is one of just a handful of people in this country who finds and trains dogs for Special Operations and top-tier units in the FBI and police departments across the U.S.
For a dog to make it in the world of Special Operations, Ritland says there are certain qualities that have to be there from the beginning.
Training starts almost from birth with loud noises that are meant to get them used to the sounds they may one day face in combat.
And at just a few months old, they start learning to ignore other smells and distractions, while zeroing in on the scent of a bomb.
Associate producer Reuben Heyman-Kantor volunteered to wear a "bite suit" as part of a training exercise.
"Once I was about halfway dressed, I began to think, 'This is a bad idea,'" Heyman-Kantor told 60 Minutes Overtime.
In a scene captured by 60 Minutes cameras, the dog -- able to run over 30 mph -- quickly overtakes his target.
It wasn't until after 9/11 that Special Operations formally began using dogs, starting in Afghanistan.
Trainer Mike Ritland is the first person to write a book about these elite dogs: "Trident K9 Warriors: My Tale From the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy SEAL Canines."
Ritland says when budgets are being cut, he hopes people won't forget how much a well-trained dog means on today's battlefield and on America's city streets.