Cuphead Doggone Dogfight: Boss Fight Guide

How to Beat Phase 1-3 of the Doggone Dogfight and Get the Secret Phase

Cuphead The Delicious Last Course is the newest DLC of Cuphead and offers a lot of new content. And with that new content comes various challenges and bosses that are ready to crush your soul! But worry not, as we’re here to help you through each challenge that might await you. In this guide, we will be discussing Cuphead Doggone Dogfight and how to get past each of its phases!

How To Beat Doggone Dogfight Phases

The Doggone Dogfight in Cuphead is a level on Inkwell Isle Four. It is the area where The Howling Aces is fought and is represented on the map by an airplane.

There are 3 phases in total, with the first having a muscular dog/bull, the second phase containing puppies, and the third one being a robotic dog controlled by the Howling Aces. That is why the Doggone Dogfight is also known as The Howling Aces boss fight as well.

Ideally, you’d want to equip the spread shot for the Doggone Dogfight. Alongside that, you can get the Peashooter and Energy Beam as your super. But the Spread shot is essential for having an easier time. And if you want the overall fight to be less punishing, consider equipping the Heart Charm.

Throughout the entire fight, you will be on top of an airplane being piloted by the NPC, who first taught you how to fly back (on the first island). As the plane is not that large, you will have little to no space to move around, so you’ll have to be extra careful when dealing with projectiles. With that said, let’s dive into the three phases.

Phase 1

First Phase of the Doggone Fight
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – First Phase

The first phase of the Cuphead Doggone Dogfight is quite long and tricky. You’ll be facing off against a fighter pilot, Bulldog. He will position his plane directly above you and will cover most of the upper third of the screen. There are primarily three moves that you need to be on the lookout for regarding the Bulldog.

Tennis Ball Attack

One of his first moves is where he’s in the cockpit of the airplane. During this, your main concern would be the puppies that pop out from the hatches on the wings of the plane. As they come out, they throw three tennis balls which serve as projectiles and can hit you.

Boomerang Attack

Another attack is when the Bulldog jumps up from the cockpit. He will be then slowly decent while using his hat as a parachute. As soon as he descends from the top to the left or right bottom corner of the screen, he will flex his muscle.

Doing so will cause the bone tattoo on his shoulder to shoot out three cross-shaped boomerang bones at you. As they are boomerang bones, look out for them coming back to hit you as well.

Occasionally, one of these bones will be pink, indicating that it is parryable. But sometimes, it can be better not to parry the bone at all as you still have other bones to worry about and the pups in the hatches.

Ball of Yarn Attack

Attack using the yarn balls
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – Yarn Ball Attack

Additionally, there is a move where the Bulldog does jump out of the cockpit but does not parachute down. Instead, it flies in using a jetpack, with a cat wrapped in his arms.

As he squeezes the cat, it will shoot out balls of yarn at you. Just like the tennis balls from the hatches, you need to jump around to avoid them.

Finally, when you’ve dealt some damage to the main Fighter Plane, it will start shooting out Fire Hydrants that serve as homing missiles. They’re relatively slower than the balls, so you will have time to shoot them down. But make sure you do as soon as you see them approaching because, near the end of the phase, the Bulldog loves spamming the Hydrants.

Phase 2

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – Second Phase

Eventually, you’ll get past the first bulldog phase, and your pilot will bring the plane to the center of the screen as the Bulldog runs away. When this happens, phase 2 will kick off with 4 smaller dogs/puppies surrounding you.

These smaller dogs will be flying around you in an anti-clockwise motion. Luckily for you, the second phase is the shortest of the Cuphead Doggone Dogfight and can be cleared easily. The main reason for that is that these smaller dogs act the same way, and you just need to worry about the alphabet projectiles that they send your way.

You can’t shoot down the alphabets, but the pink ones are parryable. We’d suggest that you focus primarily on shooting and dodging rather than trying to parry the alphabets, though.

You don’t need to have a great aim for this phase, as the dogs are flying around you and will eventually fly right into your bullets. Using the spread shot will make the phase a lot easier!

Just keep an eye for the dogs getting gray smoke; it means their health is almost finished. Taking out a dog will make it disappear, leaving the others behind. After you make all 4 of them disappear, the phase will end.

There is also a secret phase that can be initiated in phase 2, but we will discuss that later!

Phase 3

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – Third Phase

The third phase is the trickiest of the Doggone Dogfight in Cuphead, as the controls can get messy, and there is a lot that you must dodge. Your plane will be grabbed by a long dog/dragon machine (sometimes referred to as the Dog Chinook) that is being controlled by The Howling Aces.

The Lasers

Right at the start of the phase, there will be metallic laser guns that will come from the robot and fire down at your location. You need to dodge these, and to make things easier for you, there will be dashed energy lines that are going to indicate the direction of the laser. Move out of the way and then prepare for the second round of the laser.

In the second round of the laser, you should expect 2 lasers to be shot simultaneously in your direction. Just like the last one, there will be a dashed line. But these lasers will actually be pink, meaning you can parry them if you wish.

The Camera Shift

Cuphead Doggone Dogfight
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – Third Phase Shifted Screen

But here’s the part where it starts getting messy. Once the lasers have been shot, your screen will rotate 90 degrees anti-clockwise. You will still be on your plane, but everything will be rotated accordingly. After the flip, the Saluki dog will appear and will continue to dish out red and yellow dog bowls to try and hit you.

The red dog bowls tend to slip down the sides of the screen and then come across you on top of the plane. Therefore, your best bet is just trying to jump to avoid them as they slide beneath you.

However, there are also the yellow bowls which tend to be a little higher. To avoid those, you can stand still, and they’ll pass above your head.

Rest of the Fight

After dealing with the dog bowls, the screen will rotate 90 degrees again, and everything will become upside down. You will be greeted with the lasers again, in a similar fashion to the first time they shot at you. Avoid them using the dotted lines and parry the pink ones for extra damage.

After the lasers, the screen will shift 90 degrees again, and you will be sideways. Again, deal with the dog dishing out bowls. If you get past that, you will be back to the original position once the screen rotates.

The phase continues to rotate you around until you deal enough damage to the laser guns to end the fight. But do note that the second time, the laser phases can get trickier with more lasers being fired from above and a non-parryable laser being shot alongside the pink one as well. Therefore, be extra vigilant once you’ve made one round of the entire screen.

But after you do enough damage to the boss, the Doggone Dogfight will come to an end, and you will get the Pineapple Mint ingredient as a reward in Cuphead.

Doggone Dogfight Secret Phase

Secret Phase
Cuphead Doggone Dogfight – Secret Phase

There is a secret phase that you can get in the Doggone Dogfight while playing Cuphead. It is actually a lot easier than the normal phases, and if you’re having a tough time with the regular phases, we’d 100% recommend trying to go down the secret path.

How to Initiate the Secret Phase?

To unlock the secret phase, you will need to do something specific in the second phase. When the jetpack dogs come after you, their smoke will initially be white-ish. But as you damage them, the smoke will turn gray, and eventually, their jetpacks will stop working, causing them to go off the screen.

But, when you see grey smoke from one of the dogs, start targeting another dog and ensure that the gray smoke dog does not die yet. You need to get all of the 4 dogs’ jetpacks to start smoking gray. Doing so will cause the Robot Dog/Dog Chinook to eat the jetpack dogs and take them in its hatches/paw pads. That marks the start of the secret phase.

What Happens in the Secret Phase?

The secret phase is a replacement of the third phase and is relatively easier due to the lack of screen rotations and lasers. The Chinook will still hold on to your plane, but this time the jetpack dogs will continuously throw pineapples at you that you must dodge.

There are 4 dogs from the last phase, and they will continue to shift around the paw pads and come from each side. The pink pineapples that they throw at you are parryable, but you should focus more on just shooting at the dogs to end the phase quickly.

Additionally, the Saluki will also appear from the paw pads/hatches every now and then to order the Chinook to shoot Fire Hydrant missiles at you. These missiles are the same as the ones from phase 1, so you can shoot them down before they hit you.

The secret phase does seem longer than the regular third phase, but it can be easier if you just hang in there.

With that, you know everything about the Cuphead Doggone Dogfight! It can be tricky, especially in phase 3, but if you get the secret phase, you will have an easier time. If you can dodge all incoming attacks and use your spread shot, you’ll get through with ease! 

Irfan Ansari


With four years of Video Game Journalism and Tremendous love for Gaming, Irfan loves chatting and writing everything about video games.