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

      18 Oct 2021 16:33  

      His charge attack one shots in defiled chalice easily. Stay close so that he doesn’t use it and bait his other attacks and it’s not so bad

      • 20 Aug 2021 03:28  

        BL 159, vit 40, end 20, str 20, skl 30, bldtng 29, arc 70, i summoned the queen slayer dude as a distraction and spammed ACB when watchdog was sufficiently occupied it did massive dmg and would draw his ire long enough for queen to heal and bait him again, worked well so long as i saw watchdog's charge attacks in time lol

        • Anonymous

          16 Aug 2021 01:07  

          I'm at the end of my ****ing rope with this pos in the defiled chalice. I need to get to kill Queen Yharnam for one of the plat trophies and this chalice is going to be the death of me cause idk what other strategy I'm supposed to take. I'm BL178, 50VIT, 48Skill and some bloodtinge/arcane. Tried using my +10 Rakuyo but it does **** damage, Blades of Mercy are useless against a boss that can't be staggered and will 100% obliterate you at close range and now I'm using the cane at +7 and it takes ages to get through its armour (which regenerates at the start of every phase). I tried summoning the Queen Hunter outside the fog door but the AI is just way too reckless and it dies at ~50% hp, leaving me alone with an empowered boss.

          Honestly the only other thing I've been thinking to do besides going into ng+ is either getting Choir Bell and try to keep the friendly AI alive as long as possible or get the Burial Blade and see if it deals more damage than the cane because I'm just about done with this.

          Honestly I already hated chalices because the bosses are heavily uninspired and the fights drag on for too long at times. But this just puts the cherry on top for me and it just baffles me that people actually grind these for whatever reason.

          • Anonymous

            14 Aug 2021 20:12  

            Just beat him. Level 34. Saw spear. My tip bait the head swipe. Once he telegraphs it, quick step back, step forward and r1. I dodged all his attacks backwards. The spear gives you enough reach to react dodge out of harm's way.

            • Anonymous

              05 Aug 2021 23:07  

              This boss wouldn’t be hard if it didn’t charge 7 times in a row. Plus everytime you go under it’s legs for about 3-7 seconds it starts a charge combo again

              • Anonymous

                30 Jul 2021 06:32  

                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 16:33  

                  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 16:03  

                    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 11:40  

                      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 07:03  

                        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 17:47  

                          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 00:24  

                            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 15:30  

                              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.

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