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.






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    • Anonymous

      30 Jul 2021 12:32  

      I beat him years ago, but I still remember the trauma he gave me. How come every single one of his attacks can one shot me, but he has such high facking health, it's just not fair...

      • Anonymous

        12 Jul 2021 22:33  

        Watchdog: “I’ll oneshot you and you entire family! There’s no way to get in any hits! Uh- i mean…Bork Bork *throws up lava”

        • Anonymous

          12 Jul 2021 22:03  

          When I summon Olek for the defiled chalice version, he enters the bossroom and walks at the door until one of us dies. I get no one liked this boss, but come on man, waste of insight.

          • Anonymous

            04 Jul 2021 17:40  

            i see A LOT of hate for this guy but he is my favorite boss in all of the game and one of the best bosses. sure he has hitbox issues but his moves are hard and fun and killing him was the biggest satisfaction in bloodborne for me

            • Anonymous

              01 Jul 2021 13:03  

              Just killed him in first chalice (Pthumerian Labyrinth) and didn't got all those echoes. I didn't saw how much I got, but currently have 6k only

              • Anonymous

                21 May 2021 23:47  

                What an extraordinarily boring boss. Epitomizes the design issues with the chalice dungeons; the mechanics of each boss are relatively straightforward but the punishment for mistakes is severe.

                Does not result in interesting or engaging boss fights

                • Anonymous

                  05 Apr 2021 06:24  

                  If you're a purist, your best bet is to take him head on, bait and outspace his bites and swipes, and punish with ONE hit to the head. It's absolutely a war of attrition, which is what makes this fight so frustrating. Bloodborne doesn't really give you the tools to play slow and attritionally.

                  If you just want to get to QY already, just summon Queen Killer, slap a bolt paper on, and DPS his legs non stop while watching aggro and dodging his AoEs.

                  • Anonymous

                    05 Mar 2021 21:30  

                    Hello, this is 2021. I just wanted to add my 2 cents on this f***er.
                    I have a combo of chikage and simon's bowblade as my weapons of choice, running a level 144 skill and bloodtinge build. I must have tried around 30 times, never even gettin him to 50 %.
                    Now, I finally give up, I go and get enough precious ressources, including a blood rock, to get my cane to level 10 and use his waknesses against him.
                    And I got him in 2 tries. People, getting serrated damage and a long-ass weapon is the key. Skill will only take you so far, but thoses 2 will get you to victory. Trust me, I know.

                    • Anonymous

                      19 Feb 2021 19:55  

                      The Burial Blade's transformed L2 is great for piercing its head after it tries to snap at you. Once its "armor" broke, each hit did just under 2k damage.

                      • Anonymous

                        06 Feb 2021 07:16  

                        "Hmmm, when should we make this boss available to players... I know, right after blood starved beast!" - ****soft

                        • Anonymous

                          27 Jan 2021 06:22  

                          Hello fellow Hunters , i'll give you the Best outcome Loadout for this nasty Watchdog Fight ( Specialy the Defiled Chalice Watchdog Boss where you have 50% Reduced HP/Health )... Ok so i call this the Anti-Nuke Loadout or Anti-One Shot considering you have Little HP no matter what BL you are anyways.. Ok so for the Loadout Weapon here , i use Ludwig's Holy Blade +10 with Evelyn +10 ( Ludwigs Holy Blade has to always he Short Sword Mode "Untransformed". For swift attacks & less Stamina ).... Your Gear/Armor should always be the Charred Hunter Attire/Set , use all Charred Hunter Set with the Hunter's Hat ( Charred Hunter Garb , Gloves & Trousers )... Okay now for your Runes , 1st Rune equip the Clock Meta for that "10% increase to HP" , 2nd Rune equip the Lake Rune for a "Physical Damage Red.+3%" , Final Rune should have to be the Great Lake Rune to sync with the Lake Rune & stack up ( Great Lake Rune is actually Manditory here , it gives "All Damage Reduction +4%" as it also strengthens your Arcane , Fire & Bolt resistences with also all Physical Damage Taken aswell.... Now with this Loadout you should have ( 304 Physical Damage Reduction as total , and a Solid 338 Fire Resistance with the Charred Set & Great Lake Rune ). This Loadout/Set will make your Hunter actually Survive a single Fire Nuke/Blast from the Watchdog Boss during the Defiled Chalice encounter. ( As Watchdog in Defiled also has insanely more HP rather than the normal Central Pthumeru encounter ).... Finally for the Cryll Rune , i always recommend going with the Hunter of Hunter's Rune you get from Aileen for that "Stamina Recovery Speed UP". ( With this loadout , that should make strafing & baiting attacks more forgiving while dealing decent quick damage in & out )... Now before i wrap this up , having Evelyn +10 also becomes handy during this Fight when you use it. Also grab the "Empty Phantasm Shell" to Buff your short Holy Blade with a good +80 Flat Arcane Damage.. ( Watchdog is also weak to Arcane & Bloodtinge keep that in mind ). For Items to bring , go with the Phantasm Shell for buffs & also bring alot of "Bone Marrow Ashes" these Bone Ashes will make Evelyn shots deal more damage , while also gives the probability to knock the Watchdog Boss's Head spot for weaken it... Aside from that , you should have a Total of 825 HP in a Cursed/Defiled Chalice instead of a 750 HP. ( Always equip Clock Wise Metamorphisis for that 10% HP or 15% HP if you already have it... The Great Lake Rune is also very needed in this Fight & also the fight before this Old Lord fight.. and finally Lake Rune for better overall Bonus Phys.Defense ). Goodluck Hoonters , this Loadout will Guarantee you from doing a much more easier or a Forgiving Watchdog Fight in this Defiled Chalice with a reduced -50% Health/Vitality.

                          • Anonymous

                            10 Dec 2020 02:52  

                            This mother****er charged me 2 times in row! TWO ****ING TIMES! I got hit in first one and telling myself okay get up and back off real quick to heal, but no, literally the second i got up, this bullshit hitbox monster charged me again when I was literally next to him. This is the first ****ing time I see in a From Software game that there is not even a single second given to recover in a boss fight. Untested piece of ****.

                            • Anonymous

                              30 Oct 2020 18:16  

                              Does anybody realize that this is the Sulyvahn Beast from Dark Souls 3? And it's literally in the name, "Watchdog of the Old Lords", and that "Old Lord" is Pontiff Sulyvahn.

                              • Anonymous

                                27 Oct 2020 04:04  

                                Literally the only time I ever die to this jerk in defiled is when he does that quick snap bite combo. I think he’s doing a head swipe, but instead he does that crap right in my face and instantly kills me. Then it’s a d*mn twenty minute battles all over again. I hate getting one-shotted so much!

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