The Sniffer Dogs are canine creatures in Silent Hill 4: The Room that have long, prehensile tongues that they use to drain the blood of their prey. They serve the same function as Groaners and Double Heads from previous installments: continuing the theme of canine enemies.
Sniffer Dogs have dirty, leathery skin, which appears to be decaying, and make snarling sounds that resemble that of a large feline or even a frightened rat. Their gums are prominent and hold large, dagger-like canines.
The male variety has visible eyes, ears, and green-tinted fur and flesh. Females are missing eyes and ears and are purple-tinted with longer, sharper claws.
Sniffer Dogs often appear in groups and are usually witnessed feeding on monster carcasses, something they do via literally stabbing their tongues into the dead and fiercely sucking out internal fluids, suggested by the violent quivering of their heads while feasting.
Sniffer Dogs are very fast and difficult to outrun, so it is recommended not to run in a straight line; however, with their speed and lunge length, even then they are tricky to evade. Notably, Sniffer Dogs are not aggressive as long as Henry Townshend walks and does not approach them closely. Breaking into a run causes Sniffer Dogs in a wide radius to begin chasing and attacking Henry.
Male Sniffer Dogs are weaker and less threatening than females. The males attack by charging and lunging at Henry's torso, while female Sniffer Dogs are much more intelligent and tend to detect Henry's presence more quickly. The females are capable of grabbing onto Henry's leg and pinning him down while their companions attack him.
To attack Sniffers, any weapon like the steel pipe will work. Find a Sniffer Dog and smack it, and it will shortly jump backwards to avoid a subsequent attack, so before swinging again, move towards it and quickly whack it again. Repeat to kick it. The pistol works nicely as well.
Their canine form is a reference to young Walter Sullivan's fear of dogs after he visited a pet shop during his childhood and was nearly bitten by one. The numerous animal noises the Sniffer Dog make may also be a nod to the animals Walter killed in Garland's pet shop.
Additionally, their tongues bear a close resemblance to an umbilical cord, echoing Walter's longing for his mother.
- According to Masahiro Ito, the Sniffer Dogs were designed by Jun Inoue.
- It is possible that the Sniffer Dog's behavior is modeled after the "Hounds of Tindalos" created by Frank Belknap Long. The Hounds of Tindalos were said to be creatures with long, hollow tongues, or proboscis, to drain victims' bodily fluids and supposedly inhabit the foul angles of time. The Sniffer Dogs similarly are unique to Walter's foul Otherworld while Henry and Eileen Galvin are of, in Joseph Schreiber's words, "the Lord's world".
|Jack Stanton - Jillian Conway - Sara Linwood - Finn Conway - Jimmy Shea - O'Conner Brothers - Michael Stanton - Digger|
|Nurse - Pyramid Head - Sniffer Dog|
|Brookhaven Hospital - Charon's Bar-B-Q - Pete's Bowl-O-Rama - Rosewater Park - Silent Hill - Texxon Gas - Toluca Lake|
|Brand of Samael - Fog World - Monster - Otherworld - Real World - Siren - Manifestation - Great Knife - Welcome Sign|
|Tom Waltz - Steph Stamb - IDW Publishing|