Definition of watchdog in English:



  • 1A dog kept to guard private property.

    • ‘The Daily also reported that there were about 50,000 dogs in Lhasa - some kept as watchdogs or pets and others for religious reasons.’
    • ‘The Gauls tried to climb the Capitol at night, eluding the watchdogs and the Roman guard, but the flock of geese sacred to Juno spotted them and roused the Romans in time.’
    • ‘It is likely that large dogs were first introduced into this region as watchdogs and companions for the monks during the long winter months when the hospice was fairly isolated.’
    • ‘Ideal as a watchdog, this dog will neither be aggressive nor cringe with fear on accosting a stranger.’
    • ‘An excellent companion, schipperkes are ideal playmates for children and keen watchdogs for the family home.’
    • ‘Dogs are prized for hunting purpose, and as watchdogs and as pets, and, further, many dogs have actual commercial and market value.’
    • ‘Some policies even consider the dog's lifestyle; for instance, whether your dog is purely a pet or a watchdog, too.’
    • ‘Other birds such as the duck go in the daytime but return at night for shelter and safety, provided by our deerhound Lucky - a great watchdog and hunter.’
    • ‘Just as a watchdog guards a home, so the agency should be vigilant against fraudulent or dangerous products.’
    • ‘The Scottie makes a fine watchdog and is completely loyal and loving.’
    • ‘In the same vein, having fur and teeth and canine DNA doesn't necessarily make your dog a reliable watchdog.’
    • ‘At last the farm is established as a going concern, but the animals are surprised to find that - except for the pigs and their protectors, the watchdogs - life is exactly as hard and painful as it always had been.’
    guard dog, house dog
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person or group whose function is to monitor the practices of companies providing a particular service or utility.
      ‘a watchdog for the global banking industry’
      • ‘There will be a watchdog to check up on the operation of the scheme.’
      • ‘Trading standards watchdogs are warning businesses to be on their guard against a bogus bills scam.’
      • ‘The official said that that the watchdog body was unwilling to upset any political parties ahead of the presidential election.’
      • ‘Accordingly, the complicity of watchdog agencies with corporate interests comes as no surprise.’
      • ‘He also pledged to be a watchdog for the council's spending habits.’
      • ‘The watchdog's practice of warning nurseries of the month that they would be inspected was also highlighted.’
      • ‘There are consumer watchdog groups gaining in strength, and there's also the role of the popular media.’
      • ‘The US financial watchdog has said that all firms must now certify the accuracy of their accounts.’
      • ‘And he accused the watchdog of being slow to react and of holding back essential research.’
      • ‘The Government's financial watchdog has not accepted the department's accounts for the past 15 years.’
      • ‘Almost 240 people complained to the advertising industry watchdog after the advert appeared in national newspapers.’
      • ‘The trading watchdog is currently undertaking a review of estate agents' practices.’
      • ‘The council is the watchdog established to set, monitor and enforce standards in all areas of general insurance, including the fair treatment of customers.’
      • ‘Posters for a brand of alcohol were criticised by the advertising watchdog today for containing sexual innuendo.’
      • ‘Postal deliveries are so slow in December there is no point using first class stamps, a consumer watchdog warns.’
      • ‘To others it's an essential watchdog needed to prevent discriminatory practices in the workplace.’
      • ‘An independent safety watchdog has already advised the Government that 19 of London Underground's deepest stations should be affected.’
      • ‘The nuclear watchdog that was there did not see it.’
      • ‘Trade magazines, references and industry watchdog agencies can help a company find reputable firms.’
      • ‘A government spending watchdog today launched a scathing attack on attempts to cut congestion.’


  • Maintain surveillance over (a person, activity, or situation)

    ‘how can we watchdog our investments?’
    • ‘Rather than watchdogging the issue, the press just passed on the false assurances.’
    • ‘In part this was due to the inability of his religious advisory group to watchdog the companies effectively.’
    • ‘And Cari, one of the things that you do is to watchdog this.’
    • ‘Yours truly enjoys watchdogging the media coverage of our activities.’
    • ‘The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel has been doing a fantastic job watchdogging hurricane-related fraud in Miami-Dade County, Fl.’
    • ‘If only Britain had someone to watchdog its press, his public reputation would still gleam.’