Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Mike Ritland joined the US Navy in 1996 and served 12 years as a US Navy SEAL. During that time, he saw action in Operation IRAQI Freedom and numerous special operations missions. A nearby marine mission in particular, had a detailed account of an explosive-detector dog alert to a grenade booby trap hidden in a doorway, saving the lives of the Marines assigned to the mission. Ritland then instantly knew that he wanted to work with similar dogs, and harness their remarkable abilities to defeat the tools of modern warfare. Due to that inspiration, Ritland became a Navy SEAL Multi-purpose canine trainer.
After his service, Mike Ritland founded Trikos International, which specializes in providing working K9s to a multitude of clients. He now has over 15 years experience in importing, breeding, raising, and training multiple breeds of working dogs. With his unique training approach, Ritland has trained thousands of working dogs for real world applications. With this proven success, Trikos International has grown into a global brand, providing private protection K9s for celebrities, private individuals, and working K9’s to government agencies, including:
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)
- Police Departments across the U.S.
Mike Ritland also founded the Warrior Dog Foundation, a non-profit special operations K9 retirement foundation. The Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving working military K9s, the special operations community, and their families. With the Foundation’s state of the art kennel facility, these dogs are given the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives with the dignity and grace they deserve. The Warrior Dogs are attended to with heartfelt compassion administering to their mental and physical rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.
It is said that the Military still cannot predict who will be the only two candidates in every ten that make it through the brutal Selection process known as BUD/s, to the Elite ranks of the SEAL Teams. What is certain, is that the special few who Never Quit, are changed forever, through a carefully orchestrated process that strips them of every notion about what they are capable of and remakes them. Mike Ritland has rare insights into the process and the Psychology behind creating elite warriors – both two-legged and four-legged. As a past member of Seal Team 3, past instructor at both BUD/s and SQT (Seal Qualification Training), and a Trainer of Elite Special Operations K-9s he shares his story and expertise with humor and openness that keeps his audience engaged from beginning to end.
All of this experience prompted Mike Ritland to write three New York Times Best Selling books: Trident K9 Warriors, Navy SEAL Dogs, and TEAM Dog. In addition to his novels, Ritland also has been featured in numerous other publications such as Town & Country, Police K9 Magazine, K9 Cop Magazine, Working Dog Magazine, SOFREP, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, NYPOST, Men’s Journal, Cesar’s Way, Texas Monthly, and a Reddit AMA.
His expertise has earned Ritland the role of keynote speaker for Purdue University’s Discovery Lecture Series, for Bucknell University, and for various schools for children of all ages across the United States. Conferences across the country have also asked him to present, including Stansberry Conference Series, ESA Security Conference, HITS Training Conference, Police K9 Magazine Conference, K9 Cop Magazine Conference, Working Dog Magazine Conference, California Narcotic Canine Association, and IaAWP Iowa Association of Women Police.
Mike Ritland is not only an accomplished author and speaker, but he has been interviewed by dozens of media affiliates, including ABC, CBS 60-Minutes, CBS 60-Minutes Overtime, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 BOOKTV, Fox News, Fox and Friends, NBC, and PBS. Ritland also has numerous appearances on podcasts, such as The Marilu Henner Show, iHeart RADIO, ITS Tactical, and Team Never Quit.
With his respectable knowledge of all things canine, Mike Ritland has been asked to work with and/or consult with various pet companies like Dogtra, KONG, Oma’s Pride Raw Dog Food, and TEFCO. It’s not all work and no play, for Ritland, though. He and his personal K9 Rico, collaborated with the Xbox crew to create Call of Duty: Ghosts. The video game brings lifelike characters and immersive worlds together on a new, next-generation engine. The dog in Call of Duty works together with his team to fulfill missions.
Most recently, Mike created the MikeRitland.com Team Dog Online Training website launched. This platform provides online dog training to dog owners all across the world. Current community members range from first time puppy owners to well established dog trainers, as there is something for everyone, and Ritland personally interacts with members on the site and answers their questions.
Mike Ritland currently resides in Dallas, Texas and dedicates his time daily to working with his K9s at Trikos International and the Warrior Dog Foundation. When he is not traveling on business, he enjoys spending quality time with each of his dogs, staying fit, playing guitar and perfecting the art of BBQ. Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter.Download Bio
Trident K9 WarriorsMy Tale From the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy SEAL Canines
St. Martin's Press
As a Navy SEAL during a combat deployment in Iraq, Ritland saw a military working dog in action and instantly knew he'd found his true calling. As seen on "60 Minutes," Ritland's book details how he started his own company training and supplying dogs for the SEAL teams, U.S. Government, and Department of Defense.
Navy Seal Dogs My Tale of Training Canines for Combat
St. Martin’s Griffin
This is the true story of how Mike Ritland grew from a skinny, bullied child, to a member of our nation's most elite SEAL Teams, to the trainer of the world's most highly skilled K9 warriors.
Navy SEAL's BUD/S Preparation GuideA Former SEAL Instructor's Guide to Getting You Through BUD/S
St. Martin's Press
Retired Navy SEALs will take you inside the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training program to teach prospective Navy SEALs the ins and outs of the most rigorous military selection program in the world. The team at SOFREP is uniquely suited to write a program of instruction which walks would-be Special Operations troops through the course and tells them how to get from A to B and achieve their goals in the Special Operations community. Filled with entertaining anecdotes and an insider's knowledge, Navy SEALs BUD/S Preparation Guide is a must-read for prospective SEALs and armchair military enthusiasts everywhere.
Team DogHow to Train Your Dog--The Navy SEAL Way
In Team Dog, Ritland taps into fifteen years’ worth of experience and shares, explaining in accessible and direct language, the science behind the importance of gaining a dog’s trust and then offering invaluable steps for how to achieve any level of obedience.
Personal Reflections of a Navy SEAL – Pursuing a Life of Excellence It is said that the Military still cannot predict who will be the only two candidates in every ten that make it through the brutal Selection process known as BUD/s, to the Elite ranks of the SEAL Teams. What is certain, is that the special few who Never Quit, are changed forever, through a carefully orchestrated process that strips them of every notion about what they are capable of and remakes them. Mike Ritland has rare insights into the process and the Psychology behind creating elite warriors – both two-legged and four-legged. As a past member of Seal Team 3, past instructor at both BUD/s and SQT (Seal Qualification Training), and a Trainer of Elite Special Operations K-9s he shares his story and expertise with humor and openness that keeps his audience engaged from beginning to end. An inspirational talk for about setting and achieving goals and what happens when life intervenes. Mike talks about living life with purpose – whether as a Warrior in service to country, staying fit, having a plan to change society to ensure no dogs are unwanted, or making smaller things matter – such as Music, Bourbon and BBQ.
Trident K-9 Warriors: My Tale from the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy Seal K-9s Adults and young adults alike will enjoy Mike Ritland’s talk about growing up in Iowa, falling in love with dogs and joining the Navy and the elite SEAL teams. The talk includes: the story of Mike’s entry to the military at age 17, how he became an expert in breeding, sourcing and training the exceptional K-9s for Special Operations Forces (SOF), Police and Personal Protection, stories from the front lines of some of the SOF K-9’s he trained and their handlers, and stories about some of the retired K-9s that have been rescued by Warrior Dog Foundation.
The World of Working Dogs (K-9s) Dogs are contributing to Western societies and helping people in unprecedented ways – the public’s fascination with dogs is at an all-time high. In a talk suited to audiences both young and old, Mike gets down to basics for laypeople who want to understand the Working Dog World. Topics covered include: The human-dog bond, differences between Working Dogs (Multi-Purpose and Single Purpose), Service Dogs & Therapy Dogs, stories of dogs and their handlers, society’s responsibility to these animals.
Transitioning From the Military to the Civilian World– How to keep your SH*T Together and Succeed in Life After Separation Mike shares his inspiring experience and lessons in leaving the Military after experiencing a lung infection that ended his long-time goal of serving on DEVGRU, challenges and successes in becoming an entrepreneur, inventor and author, starting an internet business and becoming a social media personality. This talk can be tailored for Military/Veteran or Civilian audiences (mature audiences).
Team Dog: Training your Dog the Navy Seal Way This presentation includes: General Dog Training – Building a bond with your dog as strong as the Warrior Bond- for dog lovers of any age, working dog handler education, delivered in conference format or hands-on workshops
Discover Trikos, Mike Ritland’s expert personal-protection dog training business.
Learn 5 useful tips to train your dog on Men’s Journal.
Check out the Warrior Dog Foundation here.
See Mike Ritland in an interview with CBS Baltimore.
Texas Monthly features Mike Ritland on The Dogs of War.
Mike Ritland shares his dog expertise in the Huffington Post.
The New York Post talking about 4 ways to train your dog.
Learn more about the Warrior Dog Foundation in this piece on CBS.
“After researching for many months to find a local Military Veteran Foundation in Texas to present at our yearly McAfee Veterans Day event, I was lucky enough to come across Mike Ritland and the Warrior Dog Foundation...When first meeting Mr. Ritland, he was very humble, down to earth and took the time to talk to you.
When Mr. Ritland started his presentation, you could feel the respect and attention from the crowd as he explained his military career as well as what he does now for The Warrior Dog Foundation...From the pictures, to the facts, and to The Warrior Dog Foundations Video, it will leave you wanting to know more and more about him and this exceptional foundation. With that being said, the passion, knowledge and drive that Mr. Ritland and the Warrior Dog Foundation have provided to our Veteran K-9s is something that everyone should learn about as this experience has left many with an awareness and drive to help this facet of the Military Veteran community.”
- Trevor Bugh
“After hearing Mike speak at the McAfee Veteran’s Day dedication, I realized on a personal level, the importance of The Warrior Dog Foundation and all that Mike has accomplished. He is training not only young dogs to protect the people of the United States but also helping the Veterans and Veteran K-9s to fulfill their life after their service in the military with the happiness and peace they deserve. I lost two family members in the July 14, 2016 Nice, France terrorist attack. I know that what Mike does on a day-to-day basis is to help protect us from these cruel acts from occurring in the future."
- Terri Copeland
“Mike very quickly won over our tough audience with his warmth, honesty and fresh, first-hand accounts of his days as a SEAL, an instructor and entrepreneur. His insights into both Human and Animal Psychology and Creating Excellence were thought-provoking and the time passed far too fast. We wanted more of both Mike and his incredible dog Enzo. I would highly recommend Mike to anyone looking for a candid speaker with unique stories to tell and lessons to share.”
- Nancy Olive, Day Chair YPO Chicago Gold Oct 2017
"Mike Ritland’s presentation was the highlight of the event for me. An incredible story of how dogs play a part in war and help save lives. Mike even brought a dog for a live exhibition!. Has to be a first. He also received a 5-minute standing ovation and at an investment conference (I’ve hosted many), that doesn’t happen too often."
- Stansberry Research Group
Praise for Navy SEAL Dogs
"Mike was fantastic!! Our group loved him. He did a great job of sharing his information that kept everyone interested. At lunch when the Steering Committee could ask question, there seemed no end to the questions and our interest in him and his passion. Mike answered all the questions without cutting anyone off! He did a great job. We are very pleased and it was a great start to this years lecture series!"
-Pat Wolf, College Endowment Association
"Special force SEALs are elite enough, but SEAL dogs are a breed apart. Fascinating . . . About time these heroes got the attention they deserved for a young audience."
"Navy SEAL Dogs gives a unique insider account of the training and deployment of these special animals and their handlers. Ritland does a superb job of detailing these dogs in combat, as well as the bond between operator and K-9. Readers are sure to be surprised by the different levels of service and skill that go into making an elite team of two legged and four legged SEALs."
—Howard Wasdin, former Navy SEAL and New York Times bestselling author of I Am A SEAL Team Six Warrior
"After a stellar career in the Teams, Mike Ritland has gone on to train working K9's for some of the most elite units in the U.S. Special Operations community. These dogs are integrated into Special Operations at all levels of mission planning. They HALO parachute from high altitude, chase enemy squirters, and detect explosive booby traps, to name just a few tasks. If you want to learn about these amazing animals, the sacrifices they've made, and their effectiveness in combat, then read Navy SEAL Dogs."
—Brandon Webb, former Navy SEAL, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Circle, and Editor-in-Chief SOFREP.com
“Mike was absolutely incredible. Everyone loved his presentation and visiting with the dogs.”
—Wichita Human Society