(Capcom's primary storyline)
Zombie Dog (ゾンビ犬 zombi-inu ) is a term referring to domesticated canines infected with the t-Virus through its secondary method, namely the ingestion of infected food or organisms. It should be noted that they are separate from the Cerberuses; the latter was created specifically as a Bio Organic Weapon, while zombie dogs are viewed and treated as unintended side-effects of t-Virus dispersal and are thus classified as irregular mutants.
Like their B.O.W. relatives, the zombie dogs retain much of their former agility, with a noticeable increase in durability and aggression. In most cases, potential prey should listen for the sound of padding paws as a clue to their presence, with a growling warning that it has become aware of the player and is preparing to attack. They will let out a pained yelp when killed.
Akin to the canine related t-Virus mutation is a general necrosis in their left eye orbit, leaving their left eye visible bulge out of their otherwise savage but proportional facade, making for an even more fearsome appearance.
As with most victims of the t-Virus, the zombie dogs suffer from necrosis. It should be noted that unlike their B.O.W. counterparts, the Cerberuses, their necrosis is far more severe, resulting in exposed muscles, tendons, and even bones as well as a significantly-decomposed face.
Raccoon City and Sheena Island
Zombie dogs encountered during these two outbreaks typically roamed in packs of two or three and occasionally four, and adopted random attacking patterns. They frequently encircled the prey before charging in with a leaping attack, pinning them to the ground and ripping their throat out.
The Raccoon City Destruction Incident is the only known event in which a non-doberman was infected - a Labrador. The reason for the frequency in Dobermans being found infected was due to Chief Brian Irons' suggestion to the K9 unit that the breed be used as the police dog for the Raccoon Police Department.
Rockfort Island and Antarctica
Curiously, these zombie dogs sometimes become active only when in close proximity to prey, completely ignoring the sound of gunfire nearby. This is particularly noticeable in the power room of the Antarctic Base. Whether this is down to the dogs being heavy sleepers or simply a deliberate act of lying in wait for prey to come to them is unknown. These dogs also learned to grab hold of a human arm and would attempt to shake it loose.
In any of the games, the handgun is the best weapon to use against these enemies, as long as the person's timing is accurate and they aim low. With a shotgun, the best strategy is to wait until they actually jump and then fire. This should kill them in one shot and possibly knock any others out of the way, giving the player time to prepare for another shot. The magnum may even be a better choice before the shotgun; in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and REmake a special animation is played where the canines are decapitated by the magnum. The knife can also be used with the right timing to knock back a leaping Cerberus and then finish them while they are recovering on the ground.
In order to conserve ammo, players can use handguns to knock them off the ground, then switch to the knife and stab them to death. When confronting a group of them, you may have to shoot them to a corner before knifing. This tactic conserves a lot of ammo but need practice to master.
In Resident Evil: Survivor, take care because they always appear in groups. Use the handgun and don't lose the chance to damage them while they are on the ground.
In Resident Evil Outbreak, they are very weak (and rare) enemies. A player can just shoulder ram them and later stomp on them until they die. Zombie dogs only appear on the hospital's central waiting room and on the university's 1F passage A (but only after the player encountered Thanatos in the Entrance Hall).
- In the novelization of Resident Evil 2 by S.D. Perry, zombie dogs are depicted as having been flayed of their skin. This is in stark contrast to its appearance in the games, where it appears like a living doberman that has had chunks of flesh torn from its body. This is based on the official guidebook's artwork for the dogs, which depicted them in the same fashion.
- Zombie Dogs are more aggressive than the Cerberus of the 2002 remake, due to the fact that they immediately go after the player, even if they just in a location. The Cerberus will instead remain calm until their prey gets near them.
- Some comments of Leon in the mobile game RE: Degeneration imply he has dislike of killing zombie dogs; even calling them "puppies". He appears to have empathy for the dogs who fall victim of the t-Virus.
- The initial version of Resident Evil 2, Biohazard 1.5, featured German Shepherd Zombie Dogs in the police station sections of the game which would make sense considering they are often used as police dogs. In addition, the typical Dobermans were also around in the non-station areas of the game. It is unknown why the German Shepherds were scrapped.
- In the Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 gallery, they're mistaken for the Cerberus, likely because of the great similarities between the two forms of infected canine.
- Non-Doberman zombie dogs (excluding the ones infected with the C-Virus) are only seen 3 times in the series: in "Resident Evil 1.5" (German Shepherds), in Biohazard 4D-Executer (a Labrador Retriever) and in the Elimination 1 minigame from Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 (probably a Pit Bull).
- The Zombie Dogs are used as weapons in Capcom's video game Under the Skin.
- (in Japanese) BIOHAZARD CODE: Veronica Kanzenban Kaitai Shinsho. Enterbrain. p. 68.
- Excerpt from BIOHAZARD CODE: Veronica Kanzenban Kaitai Shinsho, page 68:
"ロックフォート島の訓練所や南極基地で飼育されていたドーベルマン種の軍用犬が､ T-ウィルスに汚染された飼料や生物を摂取することで二次感染したもの｡肉体 の腐敗は進んでいるが､ 緩慢な動きしかてきないヅンビと異なり､ 生前と変わらぬ俊敏さで獲物へと襲いかかる｡"
- Biohazard 4D Executor
- モンスター紹介 (Japanese). Capcom. Archived from the original on 2002-05-21. Retrieved on 2012-08-22.