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 Pthumeru Chalice
  • Cursed and Defiled Root Chalice (when defeated in Defiled Chalice)


 Combat Information

The Watchdog is essentially immune to fire damage, boasting staggering fire defense. 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. 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.

Pay close attention to its movements when it sets up for the charge. As it roars and brings its head down, there's a slight pause whilst it tightens up its legs before lunging at you. Alternatively, for Arcane users, once it has 50% HP left, spamming A Call Beyond combined with the use of blood bullets 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.
  • The Watchdog belongs to a group of crocodile like monsters inspired by Berserk's Beast of Darkness - read here.

  • The defiled version can have up to 28700+ health, making it have the highest hp out of any boss in BloodBorne, and the highest hp out of any boss in the SoulsBorne series.






    • Anonymous

      06 Dec 2019 11:49  

      Shoot the head with a piercing rifle to chip at him effectively. It should hit multiple times. Don't forget BMA. Should make the time you have to spend close to him a lot shorter

      • Anonymous

        05 Dec 2019 20:57  

        Transformed Church Pick R1 attack does pretty damn well since its thrust and serrated. Bolt paper gave me an extra 150-200 AR as well.

        • Anonymous

          28 Nov 2019 14:06  

          In defined chalice dungeon this is the most ridicilous one shot machine I think I have ever seen. The hit boxes are so ridicilous, getting hit even not being close to the head while he does the bite attack... I just need to GIT GUD...

          • Anonymous

            14 Nov 2019 01:31  

            I wasted like 15 insight on the summon before this fight. He did really good damage, but when he died (not if but when) I always fumbled it on the final 3rd of health After I opted to try the bait and punish tactic, and it actually worked really well Bait the swipe attacks, keep an eye on any follow ups, and punish. Dont waste your time on the limbs, they're harder to stay focused on. Back step the bark, side step the charge, take your victory

            • Anonymous

              24 Sep 2019 09:05  

              when he coughs up fire, the hitbox covers his entire head and neck, so don't try to get under him to dodge it. be careful

              • Watchdog of the Old Lords [Bloodborne Wiki]04 Jul 2019 19:26  

                If anyone is having a problem with the hound This is how I just did it this play through defiled chalice. I was able to beat him pretty easily lv 61 no coop waste of skin 30-24-30 ish HP, end, skill 18% gems, no paper with cane tricked. I stood directly in front of him, light hit his face once, walk backwards like 3 steps, he swipes his head horizontally. step forward 1-2 steps, hit face once. Literally that's it. Once his head armor breaks the dmg for me was ~ 630. If you get close to a wall just start turning him to give yourself room. Occasionally he will charge but it's easy to see that coming and dodge left. I think he did it 4 times total counting the one entering the room. I'd say around 30% he will sweep fire a bit more so you might not be able to get a hit in for a bit but just dodge back and wait it out, you can get back in the rhythm again. just be patient. took me 10-15 minutes.

                • Anonymous

                  01 Jul 2019 00:57  

                  This thing reminds me of Sulyvaun beasts, with a similar bite animation too. Take from that what you will.

                  • Anonymous

                    25 Jun 2019 09:51  

                    Much easier in coop, one person baits him while the other hits his back legs, eventually they will both break. Both players can get thousands of dps in during lava puke, consistently trade him to each other while avoiding his charge attacks and it’s a matter of time

                    • Anonymous

                      14 Jun 2019 16:35  

                      Lock-on and strafe, stay out of range. Bait its attacks and hit it, walk away. Rince and repeat. My stats 50/40/50/50. Church Pick +10. If my stats weren't that high I would have died more, but it certainly is one of the easier bosses if you observe its attacks for a while and just strafe around it. My fault was that I charged into this guy and placed myself beneath him. The fight becomes way easier if you back off and give yourself time to recover and attack when you feel ready. Good luck, don't give up.

                      • 06 May 2019 04:39  

                        Personally, I think it resembles a hyena more closely than a dog. Considering the hyena's temperament and tropes in folklore/mythology, I think that'd be a bit more meaningful in regards to game lore, as well. Then again, "Watch-hyena" doesn't flow off the tongue very well, so we can just stick with calling it the "Watchdog."

                        • Anonymous

                          22 Apr 2019 03:06  

                          ZeroLenny on YouTube used a Hunter's torch to defeat the cursed version, proving that the information regarding Watchdog being IMMUNE to fire damage is false. At least 2 damage was dealt per torch thrust, proving that it is very likely it has 999 fire resistance instead

                          • Anonymous

                            21 Apr 2019 01:01  

                            these hitboxes make no *****ing sense. why can't you dodge the horizontal sweeping bite by standing under him? it's like 8 feet away from the teeth. ***** off

                            • Anonymous

                              20 Apr 2019 23:40  

                              in defiled layer 2, during the startup for his lava puke, you can break one of his front legs to stagger him. they're much weaker than his hind legs and it will interrupt the lava

                              • Anonymous

                                16 Mar 2019 13:39  

                                I find the BOM effective at breaking legs with fast strikes and quick recovery times to dodge! Just keep evading the bite and dodge and attack away.

                                • 13 Mar 2019 23:08  

                                  Tips for this boss: There's not really an easy way to go about it. It's just a straight-up contest of who can get hit the least and dish out the most damage. Learn all of his attacks, and learn which ones you can punish, just like any other souls boss. I personally only really went in for damage on the bite attacks, but the slam downward and the flame swipes work too if those tells are more obvious to you. If you have a powerful gun and QS bullets to spare, shooting him after the charge is some damage. With all three hp runes equipped, high fire defense like charred hunter set, and 50 vitality, he can't oneshot you in defiled chalice unless you get counter hit. He can't really hit you if you just keep backing up, so healing is basically free, and you can choose which attacks to punish. Use a quick weapon over a damage weapon, and one with a decent amount of range to make sure your punishes hit. Untricked Ludwigs/kirkhammer, saw spear/cleaver, cane, reiterpallasch all work well. I ended up using chikage on a skill/bloodtinge build because you can trick it when you break a leg for more damage. Using bone marrow ash and bullets works well when you don't feel secure about going in, i got up to 1000 damage with an evelyn when he was burping lava.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    04 Mar 2019 08:52  

                                    After being unlucky like 20 or 30 times... I tried my Cane Whip +10 (the first strategy). Took the fire gems I keep on it off, and swapped it with 27% physicals. Use either Phantasm Shell or bolt paper (or don't, it'll just drag the fight out a TINY bit longer). Only took one death figuring out distances etc with that strategy, now he's easy... Just stay back unless he uses the "single sweeping bite attack". But now I've started the DLC before the final fight with Germain or w/e (after I had to make a trial Plus account on my alternate PSN account just to farm the good gems and crap SOLO... >.<). I tried out the best cutter after +10'ing it. Holy hell THAT is the weapon to use. Longer reach, harder hits... bait the bite attack, hit R2, bait, R2... so much easier then the whip.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      28 Feb 2019 03:28  

                                      Pulled this boss in a depth 5 cursed, fetid, rotted chalice at layer 2 the other day and absolutely hated life. I can 100% say it was the most difficult fight i have done in this game so far. The bulk he has at that depth is ridiculous. even after breaking his face armor and doing 900-1300 damage a hit it felt like his health bar was barely flinching. Then he buffed and reapplied his armor with a quarter of his health left and it was just a bad time. At least he is satisfying to beat. Fingers crossed I don't pull Amygdala, headless bloodletting, or Rom

                                      • Anonymous

                                        13 Feb 2019 10:22  

                                        People kept giving DS***** but BB is just as bad sometimes, like*****, at least give this *****ing thing proper hitboxes if you want to take away my health

                                        • Anonymous

                                          03 Feb 2019 13:58  

                                          I solved how to reliably read it, Stay in front and pay attention to it's head and paws. All the attacks are easily avoidable if you pay attention there. The charge might ***** you up if you mistake it for it buffing or starting one of the bite sequences, but I found if you dodge back immediately when it starts one of those you will have time to quickstep to the side immediately after and avoid the charge. There's guaranteed to be better strats but its worth trying out if having trouble.

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