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 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. 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

      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.

                • Anonymous

                  31 Jan 2019 05:51  

                  This is a just a flaming version Sulyvahn’s Beast from Dark Souls 3. It’s even weak to serrated, much like how the Sulyvahn’s beast is weak to bleed.

                  • Anonymous

                    10 Jan 2019 08:38  

                    I cheesed him with the Holy Moonlight Sword. Charge R2 and then dodge. Rinse and repeat. When you are out of bullets just press up on the d-pad and keep cheesing away.

                    • 16 Dec 2018 01:38  

                      This could've been random chance or just luck but during charge a fully charged r2 from simon's bowblade seems to be able to interrupt it so others can test this if they want and if it is true can change the section on the charge

                      • Anonymous

                        05 Dec 2018 23:11  

                        Buy a lot of vials and paper bolt. Upload ( save) your game in the cloud. After you die and ran out vials and bolts, dowload your savefile from the cloud ( be careful of auto upload). you will have your vials and bolts, no need to farm. If this is cheat, its you to decide, but i prefer my mental health.

                        • Anonymous

                          29 Nov 2018 19:15  

                          Layer 3 Amygdala fight in cursed defiled dungeon was much more easier. ( by normal way not by cheating) I finished Amygdala after dying only 20 times.

                          • Anonymous

                            22 Nov 2018 16:01  

                            If you have trouble beating him in the Defiled Chalice dungeon, let me give you some insight. Don't stand in front of him. All his bite and claw attacks can instantly kill you. Don't stand between his legs. His charge will instantly kill you. Don't stand behind him. His AoE attack can instantly kill you. 3rd Phase: Don't stand anywhere. His explosion fills out the whole arena and can instantly kill you. Gl hf

                            • Anonymous

                              15 Nov 2018 18:53  

                              Dying 50 times, no matter what, with summon, without, even when you see the attack and react accordingly, nothing changes. What utter bull*****This breaks the game for me, coming to realize all the other guys frowning about the difficulty are actually right. There is nothing there. Just hours and hours of gameplay in a loop. And if your done, no accomplishment, nothing, because what have you actually achieved? Utter nothingness. I wonder if we, who like the FROM games so much, are maybe on a wrong track here... Well anyway I quit this***** before it sucks more empty hours out of my life.

                              • Anonymous

                                29 Sep 2018 19:08  

                                It makes it a long fight, but I stumbled upon a consistently successful tactic yesterday. I used the Saw Cleaver in its normal state. Stay in front of The Dog and bait his side-bite attacks. Jump back out of reach and then go in as his head is returning to its neutral position. Hit his head once or twice, back off, and repeat. The only reason I died when doing this was because I kept getting greedy (died twice when he was at the last of his health because "JUST TWO/THREE MORE HITS AND HE'S DEAD!!!"). The time I won I just forced myself to be patient (he was at 2-3 hits for a full minute before I got a good opening) and I only used 3 blood vials. Taking this fight slowly doesn't make it a battle of attrition, as you can easily avoid The Dog's attacks when you play just on the outside of his range. Just be patient and he'll be unable to touch you.

                                • Anonymous

                                  17 Sep 2018 09:25  

                                  I'm trying to get my last trophy (beating yahrnum) and since I've explored everywhere else, figured she had to be in a chalice. Well I tried this chalice today, payed till 2 am and still haven't beaten this bastard. Even used a summon. And after reading about queen yarnhum here, turns out you need to do this ridiculously unfair cursed chalice dungeon. I love this game but this boss but for whatever reason this ***** has given me the most trouble of any boss. Yeah I'd beaten it in another dungeon but going into the defiled, I was praying that this one wouldn't be a boss. (I'm much better at Amygdala at least.) I don't even like the chalice dungeons-thinking about quitting this game for a while. Though some advice here (baiting his head; I've been attacking his legs/sides after dodging into head swipes) seems good. Plus just learned church pick is serrated and I'm starting to like this weapon.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    18 Aug 2018 10:51  

                                    One of the easiest tactics is to get Church Pick, bait his attack and counter it with FIRST attack. Only first. Slam his head without mercy and his easier than most bosses :/

                                    • Anonymous

                                      23 Jul 2018 04:29  

                                      Does anyone else notice how the sulyvahn beast from dark souls looks kinda like this? Something tells me they were based on it

                                      • Anonymous

                                        06 Jul 2018 19:50  

                                        An easy way to beat it is to upgrade the reiterpallasch to +5 and thensaw spear (at least +5) and keep your distance as you embed qs bullets from the reiterpallasch into it, then switch to the saw spear when you run out of qs bullets, wait for it to use a slower attack, then punish, took me a little under 4 minutes

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