Definition of watchdog in US English:



  • 1A dog kept to guard private property.

    • ‘Some policies even consider the dog's lifestyle; for instance, whether your dog is purely a pet or a watchdog, too.’
    • ‘The Scottie makes a fine watchdog and is completely loyal and loving.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ideal as a watchdog, this dog will neither be aggressive nor cringe with fear on accosting a stranger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Daily also reported that there were about 50,000 dogs in Lhasa - some kept as watchdogs or pets and others for religious reasons.’
    • ‘Just as a watchdog guards a home, so the agency should be vigilant against fraudulent or dangerous products.’
    • ‘In the same vein, having fur and teeth and canine DNA doesn't necessarily make your dog a reliable watchdog.’
    • ‘Dogs are prized for hunting purpose, and as watchdogs and as pets, and, further, many dogs have actual commercial and market value.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An excellent companion, schipperkes are ideal playmates for children and keen watchdogs for the family home.’
    guard dog, house dog
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A 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 are consumer watchdog groups gaining in strength, and there's also the role of the popular media.’
      • ‘The Government's financial watchdog has not accepted the department's accounts for the past 15 years.’
      • ‘The US financial watchdog has said that all firms must now certify the accuracy of their accounts.’
      • ‘A government spending watchdog today launched a scathing attack on attempts to cut congestion.’
      • ‘The watchdog's practice of warning nurseries of the month that they would be inspected was also highlighted.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The official said that that the watchdog body was unwilling to upset any political parties ahead of the presidential election.’
      • ‘The trading watchdog is currently undertaking a review of estate agents' practices.’
      • ‘Posters for a brand of alcohol were criticised by the advertising watchdog today for containing sexual innuendo.’
      • ‘An independent safety watchdog has already advised the Government that 19 of London Underground's deepest stations should be affected.’
      • ‘And he accused the watchdog of being slow to react and of holding back essential research.’
      • ‘The council is the watchdog established to set, monitor and enforce standards in all areas of general insurance, including the fair treatment of customers.’
      • ‘The nuclear watchdog that was there did not see it.’
      • ‘Almost 240 people complained to the advertising industry watchdog after the advert appeared in national newspapers.’
      • ‘Trade magazines, references and industry watchdog agencies can help a company find reputable firms.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      ombudsman, monitor, scrutineer, inspector, observer, supervisor
      View synonyms


[with object]
  • Maintain surveillance over (a person, activity, or situation)

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