There’s already a certain small degree of scaling difficulty in that creatures like animals are more rare and their zombified counterparts more common as the seasons progress. I’d like to see this applied in the early game when it comes to special infected, particularly the more dangerous ones, as well as things like tank bots, milspec turrets, and chicken walkers. Early game should be mostly basic infected, few dogs, etc. Not exactly zero special infected, but they should be much rarer. It would be good to have this as an init option as well for those who like a strong early challenge, but on vanilla difficulty the early game is definitely the toughest - I’ve found this is primarily due to unhittable stuff like K-9s that will just rip any starting character to shreds and can’t be outrun unless you amp up your starter points.
I agree that difficulty should better scale up and that special z should logically be rarer at the start.
But the doggies are not directly a death sentence. I started a char with 8 str 10 dex and was able to fend them off with different tactics. Fire shrubs pits throwing stuff. You ll manage so keep those in.