60 Minutes: Sniffing For Bombs
For 60 Minutes, Lara Logan talked about the use of bomb-sniffing dogs in the aftermath of the Boston bombings. Dogs cleared the area twice earlier in the day, according to authorities. Logan said that Belgian Malinois dogs are being used more than ever to detect bombs, since 9/11.
60 Minutes: US Special Operations & Police Dogs
US Special Operations has highly trained dogs that work in various capacities for the military and law enforcement. However, much of their work is classified, and it’s rare to see them talked about in the media.
You should know by now that 60 Minutes can talk to almost anyone. Logan had a chance to talk to the trainers behind this elite force of canines.
Chris Corbin, a Green Beret, jumped from a plane with his dog Ax in a test to determine the dog’s tenacity in the field. Corbin and Ax has an intense bond, having been through war together.
60 Minutes: Special Forces Military Dogs
Dogs believe they are invincible, according to SFC Corbin with the 7th Special Forces Group. He has worked with Ax on a tour in a dangerous part of Afghanistan. They had to lead others through a field littered with bombs.
Corbin and Ax had to clear a path for those soldiers following behind them. He and his dog have a trusting relationship. Mike Ritland, a former Navy SEAL, is part of a small, special training team that works to find and prepare dogs for work in the military or law enforcement.
60 Minutes: Trikos International & Bomb Sniffing Dogs
Ritland said the dogs have many abilities, and are also “a fantastic deterrent to crime.” As for the circumstances of the Boston Marathon, he said that generally dogs should be able to locate bombs. It is possible that the Boston bombers dropped bombs after the area had been swept.
He also recalled his own experiences in combat with a trained dog, and the uncertainty of moving in dangerous territory. With a trained dog, “that level of comfort absolutely skyrockets,” he explained.
He has a Texas ranch where he runs Trikos International, a company where he trains dogs for extreme situations. Dogs are capable of free fall, rappelling, swimming, and much more.
“There’s not really an environment that we operate in that you can’t bring a dog,” he said.
60 Minutes: Police Dogs Speed & Power
Dogs are in short supply, because of their powerful noses as well as other skills. They can even be trained to track humans and locate enemies in the field.Training dogs are fast and fit, achieving speeds of 30 miles an hour.
The animals are trained to capture, not kill, suspects. “The physical capability of these dogs is impossible to explain and even hard to comprehend when you see it.” The dogs can even break bones with their powerful jaws.
That means the dogs have to be trained for situations where enemies are attempting to cause harm to the animals. They seem to have thought of everything, covering the physical and mental pressures that could be present on the battlefield.
60 Minutes: Belgian Malinois Military Dogs
One of the rare dogs, Arko, has been retired after several overseas deployments. He now lives with Ritland on a farm, and was nearly killed by a gunshot from an enemy fighter, whom he successfully subdued.
I know I will never look at police dogs the same way again. Who knew how strong they truly could be? Ritland is the first to admit that certain qualities must be present in a dog to make it through the program.
The Belgian Malinois is among the top breeds for this type of work, and just a few US breeders prepare them for life as potential police dogs. As puppies, they can be exposed to loud sounds that may prepare them for life in battle. With noses 1000 times more powerful than ours, they can learn to search by scent.
60 Minutes: Corbin & Ax Afghanistan War Dog
Years of training go into preparing a dog for its important tasks that could mean the difference between life or death. Dogs can learn to differentiate the individual components of a dish, such as beef stew, and separate the smells. That is the skill that comes into play when it comes to detecting bombs.
As for Corbin and Ax, they barely survived their final mission together. That is because Corbin missed his dog’s signal, which could have killed them both. Though Ax was not injured, Corbin lost his lower legs. But he went back into active duty after recovering, in part thanks to his bond with the dog.
Ax would not leave Corbin’s side during his 60 Minutes interview with Lara Logan. Trained dogs don’t know when they are in danger, but experts see them as valuable partners in war. Dogs are new to the military, as of operations in Afghanistan, but these specialized talents mean that we are likely to continue using them in the future.
60 Minutes: Warrior Dog Foundation & Trident K9 Warriors
Of course, the abilities of the dogs is attracting enemy attention. 60 Minutes learned that some forces are instructing their soldiers to fire on American dogs before dealing with soldiers. In fact, 42 dogs were killed in action. Wounded dogs get the same level of care a soldier would get.
After active military duty, dogs can go on to life in police work. Retired dogs may end up with Ritland and his Warrior Dog Foundation charity. His book, Trident K9 Warriors, goes in depth about the animals and their abilities.
What do you think about the amazing abilities of these dogs?