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

      30 Jul 2020 00:08  

      I would genuinely rate this as the hardest boss in the base game the first time you encounter it in a defiled. Don't know how many time times I died to the lunge as soon as I walked in due to poorly timed side steps.

      • Anonymous

        18 Jul 2020 22:01  

        Using the Chalice glyph bej77ini to farm blood chunks, killing the dog gave me a blood rock.
        I used a phtumeru ihyll chalice.

        • Anonymous

          17 Jun 2020 12:18  

          my 99 arcane build was struggling to do damage and i didnt know what to do so whenever i had an oppening i did the kos weapon art to break his head... after it broke i did 1k dmg with the blacksky eye and it died in ten shots

          • Anonymous

            08 Jun 2020 01:23  

            My strategy was to stay in front of his head, bait the biting attacks, get killed repeatedly by stupid AOEs anyway, throw out my ps4, and promised to only stick to mobile gaming. This comment was sponsored by Raid: Shadow Legends

            • Anonymous

              24 Apr 2020 17:01  

              This thing was a big, untested, poorly-coded pile of bull*****this was from basically telling you “hey, this is the part of the game where you waste a lot of time and resources, so have fun *****-face!”

              • Anonymous

                16 Apr 2020 20:02  

                So you’re telling me that this guy has more health than even yhorm but you can’t even use a storm ruler oh well at least his defense isn’t that high

                • Anonymous

                  18 Mar 2020 01:00  

                  I really need help with this boss. I am getting 1 shotted everytime. Also running out of insight. I feel the blood echoes running in my veins... anyone?

                  • Anonymous

                    07 Mar 2020 02:03  

                    I'm not sure why but I beat this thing on the second try bc I was using bone marrow ash+repeating pistol for 2000 dmg a shot nearly every shot BT is at 45

                    • Anonymous

                      12 Feb 2020 19:55  

                      Just a tip, if you kite the bite attacks he does, you can actually kill him fairly easy by continuously hitting his head. You'll stagger his head eventually and will actually do bonus damage to it. Be careful, the bites turn into a 4 hit combo. I was at about 570 ar with the saif hitting his head for 1400 a hit until he went down to about the last 25%. At that point just knock all 4 of his limbs down for an easy kill. At the end, I had 18 blood vials and 20 quicksilver bullets so just imagine what you can do if you're arcane or bloodtinge or even both! It works!

                      • Anonymous

                        30 Jan 2020 14:56  

                        If you're a strength/arcane build(50/50) the boop his nose tactic is the best. I use tranformed ludwig blade stand close enough to hit his head with L2 whenever he swipe bite dodge back then dodge forward and L2 rinse and repeat, be careful for his chain fire bites though. You can use the blacksky eye just line up straight at his head he will take about 200 dmg or more if you break his head armor and use blood bullets. You can use the throwing knife for easy free dmg.

                        • Anonymous

                          02 Jan 2020 00:41  

                          Wow guys I just killed him, I have a super easy strategy against him, you just have to attack his right back leg, and only this one. During the fight, always walk to his right side, dodge to the right when he attacks you. You will be safe, and with a fast weapon you can give 2 hits, even more sometimes. You will never get hit by a charge (never go under him or between the legs) or a bite, but stay focused because all his explosion attacks can reach you. When he gonna trigger one of his explosion, just dodge back. Hope it will help some !

                          • Anonymous

                            10 Dec 2019 19:59  

                            Finally beat this little *#%&$@!!! Slow and steady really wins the race, I died to this boss all damn day yesterday! Do NOT get greedy. A lot of videos show jump attacks as effective but that just doesn’t work for me. I wait until he tries to bit, then when he’s almost back to starting position I run in and slash his face ONCE the dodge/roll back. That’s it. In his last phase he can chain up to four bites in one combo, only attack him on the last bite when his face gets in really close and to your left! That’s really important. Don’t get greedy and really expect to spend 10-20 mins on this boss. Bring bolt papers if you can. Good Luck

                            • Anonymous

                              09 Dec 2019 05:08  

                              Fights an awful lot like the giant pigs, and feels like a DS boss, except he's on fire, his breath is on fire, the room is on fire, you're on fire, oh ***** I died again, the loading screen is on fire

                              • 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.

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