Watchdog of the Old Lords

General Info
hp.jpg blood_echoes.jpg Location Drops
3528 1696 Pthumeru Chalice - Layer 3 Central Pthumeru Chalice
23963 67763 Defiled Chalice - Layer 2 Cursed Sharp Damp Blood Gem (5)
physical_DEF.jpg VS_blunt.jpg VS_thrust.jpg --
110 132 110 --
blood_DEF.jpg arcane_DEF.jpg fire_atk.jpg bolt_DEF.jpg
110 160 999 160
slow_poison_RES.jpg rapid_poison_RES.jpg VS_beasts.jpg VS_kin.jpg
999 999 Yes No


Watchdog of the Old Lords Information

Watchdog of the Old Lords (旧主の番犬 Kyūshu no banken lit. "Watchdog of the Old Lords")  is a Boss in Bloodborne. It is a large, burning, canine creature. It was first revealed in the Chalice Dungeon gameplay video, and currently can only be found within Chalice Dungeons.






  • 124,842 Blood Echoes
  • Cursed Sharp Damp Blood Gem
  • Central Pthmeru Chalice
  • Cursed and Defiled Root Chalice (when defeated in Defiled Chalice)


 Combat Information

The Watchdog is immune to fire damage. A lot of its attacks deal fire damage, in fact all attacks seem to deal fire damage, but they are all avoidable. So fire resistance, while helpful, is unnecessary. Ranged damage (Simon's Bowblade / Blacksky Eye) is effective in this fight. Saw weapons are also effective as The Watchdog's weak to Serrated.

When you enter the room it will likely use its charge attack so be prepared to dodge. It constantly moves toward you slowly so most of its attacks will be the Flame Swipe and Bite Combo. After using its bite combo, it will return to a neutral stance; you can use a vertical overhead attack to damage the crested plates on top of its head. After taking a few hits to the head, the defensive plate will become damaged and further attacks to this area will cause additional damage. If it does Flame Swipe instead, you can dodge through the flames, but if you are close to it, it will use the attack again with its other claw. It can transition into a Bite Combo pretty easily from Flame Swipe so it's best to dodge away and reset its and try for a Bite Combo. Because these attacks are very easy to avoid, this strategy is optimal. At 50% health it does its Explosion move which can kill you, if get caught in it.

It now moves at you much more aggressively and is just as likely to use Snapping Bites and its Bite Combo--generally it seems to use Snapping Bites if you are almost directly in front of it, so try to stay at its side  to goad out a Bite Combo.

Keep trying to bait it into using Bite Combo and avoid its Explosion. When it uses an attack, you will see its throat swell up like a toad. If you hit it enough times while it's swollen, you will stagger it. However, if you don't manage to pull off a stagger, you'll likely get hit with its attack.


  • Striking its knees enough or hitting them with a strong charge attack will cause them to shatter, briefly stunning it. Attacks on a broken leg will deal increased damage, however breaking a leg will seem to increase the frequency of certain moves.
  • Its head can also be broken with enough damage, causing it to take much more damage from attacks.
  • While stunned be very careful that you don't stay too close to it. When it gets up it will do a burst of flame that deals high damage, followed by a charge.
  • Always dodge in the direction that it swings its head.
  • Alternatively, bait it to swing its head or bite, and then reach it by dash jumping, leave a couple swing before it slams the ground with AoE explosion.
  • Be very careful when attacking it, because at any point an attack could trigger it to immediately cancel its current attack and perform a charge attack in front of it. Provided you're to the side and not too close to it, you should be safe

Easy Cane Whip (Whip Mode) Technique for Defiled Chalice Level 2 (By FalseShadows):

The key is to stay close, to only trigger its single sweeping bite attack. Watch out for the attack, evading accordingly (Backing a step or two should be enough, no need to jump backwards), as soon as the attack animation is about to finish (bringing its head back to normal position), do an R2 attack and IMMEDIATELY take 2 sidesteps to the right as it will do its Charge Attack. The Charge attack should miss and the lock-on might be disengaged. Face it lock-on and close the distance right away and repeat the attack luring. This is a guaranteed hit to the head every time, if the distance is managed correctly.

As you are approaching 40-50% HP mark, you will injure its head, marked by the animation. This is a Visceral Attack opportunity, so be sure to line yourself up well against its head to trigger. Notice that injuring its head increases the damage of subsequent hits dramatically.

After this, is when things start to get dicey. It will do a Flame Burst attack, which you can avoid by backstepping twice/thrice depending on your position in the arena; after the attack, it will start to move faster. The luring method is pretty much the same, except the enemy will start to chain its Sweeping Bite attack up to 3 consecutive strikes, depending on how close you are. You can still aim to hit after the first Sweeping Bite, but should the dog chain its bites, your attack will miss and you have a small window of time to backstep or risk being hit by the succeeding bites.

Luckily, the chaining of the bites are slow, so if you miss the first strike opportunity, evade the second and third sweeping bite and R2 strike as the third Sweeping Bite (The upward sweeping one) animation finiits and the attack should hit the head as normal. Remember to double/triple backstep once it starts to cue its Flame Burst (it changes its stance) it seems to do it more often as it is near-death. Repeat luring as soon as the Flame Burst finiits. It should be down in no time without you taking any damage. (Done at Lvl 127 with 35 Vit, 50 Skill and a +10 Cane Whip.)

Holy Blade+9 and Evelyn+9 strategy (by Mr. Fluffybottom)

This strategy yields the quickest damage that I've found (high skill + bloodtinge preferred). Lock on and stay in front of it. You will be focusing on its head. Keep Ludwigs Holy Blade in 1-handed mode for quicker attacks. Bait its biting attacks, paying close attention to whetits it is doing a single or double bite. Wait until the last bite and dodge-step forward and strike it once in the head with the holy blade. Backstep out of range and repeat. If you're quick enough and have its animations down you can usually hit it once, before the bite begins and again when it finishes. In between bites, it will occasionally try to pepper you with small fire blasts from its claws and mouth. Backstep repeatedly to avoid these and then return to baiting its attacks. It will also occasionally vomit up a puddle of magma.

As it begins gagging, you can rush in and hit it a couple times before backing off. Be mindful of the puddle's location afterwards as the damage and stun-lock from it will wreck you. If you have enough phys %-up gems on your holy sword you should be able to break its head in time for stage 2 by focusing attacks on it. When this happens, it staggers. Hit it no more than 2 times and back off. It will do an AoE attack upon stagger recovery, which can easily one-shot you if you get too greedy. It will now take increased damage from all attacks on its head.

Upon entering stage 2 (~70% HP) it will erupt flames from its body and become more aggressive. Its bites will often be a 2-chain instead of a single so watch for the telltale movement before approaching for a hit. In addition, it will begin including a 3rd bite attack occasionally where it will snap forward at the player in a diagonal motion. This always goes to the player's left, so sidestepping to the right allows for 1-2 hits before it pulls back. Its pepper breath attacks will happen more often now and include more hits, so watch yourself. Additionally, it will begin using is AoE attack occasionally instead of just when staggered. Backpedal when you see the cinders swirling around it or die. Finally, when it approaches stage 3 it will begin using a charge attack (the same attack it likely opened the fight with). It announces this by stopping, spreading its legs, and roaring. It then swings its head down and lunges forward. This is a do or die moment for this fight. You can avoid this by sidestepping to the right in the moments before impact. If you dodge too early it homes in on you.

Alternatively, you can take these charges as an opportunity to parry if you've broken its head already. Pay close attention to its movements when it sets up for the charge. As it roars and brings its head down titse's a slight pause witse it tightens up its legs before lunging at you. As soon as it begins to lunge after this you can shoot it in the head to parry. It will fall to its knees and be vulnerable to a visceral attack to the head. Whetits you dodge or parry is up to you and how comfortable you are with your timing. If you miss the parry the charge may easily one-shot you or leave you with a sliver of health at most. High risk, high reward. Alternatively, for Arcane users, once it has 50% HP left, spamming A Call Beyond combined with Bloodbullet will make this fight almost trivial.

Finally around 30% HP it enters stage 3. It erupts flames again and speeds up all of its movements. It will become extremely aggressive and begin charging more often. It will also begin using a more powerful AoE more often. It has more range than before. Backpedal as far back as possible when you see it charging it up. Being near the center WILL kill you. Its bite chain will always be 3 hits now and it will tend to use its fire blast attacks more often. They will have increased range and duration so be wary. At this point in the fight it may be wise to focus on shooting its head when he's walking towards you if you have any bone ash. This will speed up the last portion of the fight up. Beyond that, just keep peppering it with hits in between its attacks and you should be victorious.





Phase 1 Interrupt Notes
Swipe Bite No A series of wide, horizontal bites triggered when close to its front or side. The reach of this attack is deceptively large and is possible to get hit when in standing in flanks.
Flame Wave Swipe No Left swipe sending a wave of fire outward. Quickstep eitits to the side or through the wave.
Flame Bark Combo No Barks quick bursts of fire ahead. Back away during its long build-up to avoid this.
Lava Vomit No Vomits lingering pools of lava ahead. Back away during its long build-up to avoid walking into the lava pools.
Flaming Charge No Lights up and charges; quickstep to eitits side and out of its way. Hitbox is deceptively large and is triggered when entering boss room, cooperators should wait upon entering.
Pounce Attack No Pounces from hind legs with heavy tracking. Dash or quickstep forward past it while it's airborne.
Stomping Combo No Stomps multiple times with its front and hind legs when standing against them. Quickstep backward to avoid.
Phase 2 Interrupt Notes
Double Flame Wave Swipe No Same as the Flame Wave Swipe, but followed by a delayed second hit from the right paw. Quickstep left twice to move out of the second's range.
Phase 3 Interrupt Notes
Explosion No Absorbs heated particles before using a massive explosion. Gain as much distance possible by repeatedly quickstepping backward.


Notes & Trivia

  • The Watchdog has several eyes inside its skull.
  • The Watchdog has molars, consistent with both dogs and humans. Its still not determined what it started out as.
  • It has 5 fingers and 3 toes. In the hind legs the tibia and fibula are exposed.
  • The Watchdog has a powerful exoskeleton made from bone and unknown parts.





    • Anonymous

      01 Feb 2018 22:33  

      This boss doesn't drop that amount of blood. At least not anymore, just killed for something about 2000 bloods.

      • Anonymous

        12 Dec 2017 19:34  

        Jusr use moonlight greatsword and he gets super easy... try to hit his head always dont go to the legs... also the charged R2 deals up to 2000 damage in the head if both, the weapon and the progectile hit the boss

        • Anonymous

          21 Oct 2017 04:39  

          The Defiled Chalice version was the most demoralizing fight in the game. After the first few deaths I didn't even get annoyed when I died. I just felt tired.

          I finally ended up summoning Queen Killer after dying for three days. It's the first time I summoned anyone for a fight

          • Anonymous

            20 Oct 2017 02:43  

            I had the hardest time with this guy in the Defiled Chalice until I decided to just keep my distance and strategically smack his elbows with a fast weapon. As long as pace your attacks and don't get caught under him (and get killed by Camera Boss™), he's pretty predictable; greed and aggression will earn you many a one-shot trip back to the lamp. I was actually kind of shocked how easy it was when I decided to just take it slow. Having a bloodtinge build, Evelyn +10, and a good supply of Bone Marrow Ash helped speed up the process, shooting at his injured limbs at a safe distance and getting massive damage off each shot.

            • Anonymous

              08 Oct 2017 23:08  

              Some of the comments may be discouraging for a first-timer attempting the chalice dungeon (they were to me, based on the levels referenced, but I decided to try it anyway), but most of these are referring to modified chalices (cursed/rotted/etc). I just killed the watchdog at level 66 with threaded cane +6 with a 24vit/20end/40skl build. The tips in the post are solid, just work them into your play. I summoned Olek the prospector for help, and he died around 5% health on the boss. Landed a stagger, did not visceral but just R2'd him down from there. Keep your health up and keep moving.

              • 25 Sep 2017 20:15  

                Here are my tips to beat him without getting hit even once:

                First phase - bait his 1 hit bite or the 2 combo bite and hit once in the head OR go to his front limb and hit once after the 1 bite move after which he'll likely do the dash attack which can be easily avoided by dodging to the back (to be safe dodge twice). When he staggers unless you are in the correct position you'll not visceral him, note that it's hard to position yourself in the correct location so rather do a charge attack instead after which QUICKLY DODGE TO THE BACK as he'll use his body flame attack (or whatever it's called). When he positions himself to vomit lava, you should remove the lock-on and quickly run to his hind limbs and do a charge attack (if you are fast enough you can do 2 fully charged attacks). Rinse and repeat this strategy. Note that he'll sometimes do his hand fire wave and flame bites which can easily be avoided by dodging to the back once or twice (just to be safe do it 2 times or more).

                Second phase: This phase is very much the same as the first phase except he'll add come more head swipe to his swipe combo, he'll use his bites more, he has a new flameless diving bite attack (very easy to dodge) and he'll use a supernova explosion. Use the same strategy as above. All of his attacks are to be dodged the same as above. When he's charging his explosion run away from him as it has a large AOE range and you'll be safe. It's also harder to bait his head swipes but sometimes he'll only do one swipe and that is when you should attack his head (or as noted above run to his front leg and attack once or twice and dodge quickly to avoid his charge).

                If one is a BT build the 2nd phase becomes much simpler as one can shoot a BMA boosted Evelyn/Repeating at him to chip away at his HP.

                If this is done correctly one can beat him without ever getting hit. Getting hit will guarantee one hit kill as elemental attack damage aren't halved in Defiled chalice. It's a fight that tests patience more than anything so the ones who persevere will beat him easily but those who rush will have a hard time.

                • Anonymous

                  06 Aug 2017 13:40  

                  The page is inconsistent with calling the boss 'he' or 'she'. I'd suggest just going with a passive 'it' since we've no indication on it's sex.

                  • Anonymous

                    30 Jul 2017 04:02  

                    I used to hate this Boss because of the many times I died to it in the Defiled Chalice but I really enjoy this fight now

                    • Anonymous

                      16 Jul 2017 02:41  

                      The one thing standing between me and that glorious platinum trophy is this f-cker, i cant beat him, no matter how hard i try, with help or without, i simpy cannot do it.

                      • Anonymous

                        14 Jul 2017 03:20  

                        Had a probably unimportant lore thought: do you think this thing might be Bloodborne's equivalent of a dinosaur? In the Victorian era, people were just starting to wrap their heads around fossils and the possibility that ancient life might have existed prior to creationism, so maybe this ancient beast is what the people of Yharnam envision prehistoric life to have looked like--colossal, lupine drakes with flaming blood. And speaking of flaming blood, could it be that its blood is related in some way to fossil fuel? Oil seems to be unusually abundant in the Tomb, and in Yharnam. If this thing was employed by the Watchers/Keepers, I imagine it must have a strong disposition specifically to other beasts, which would make its scorching blood all the more imperative.

                      Load more