The bush dog Speothos venaticus and the short-eared dog Atelocynus microtis are categorized as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. I document the occurrence of these two little known canids in a fragmented landscape in southern Amazonia (around Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso state, Brazil) using interviews and two extensive camera-trapping surveys. From a total of 144 interviews conducted during 2001–2002 in forest fragments and continuous forest sites, bush and short-eared dogs were confirmed in only eight (5.6%) and 14 (9.7%) forest sites, respectively. Two camera-trapping surveys, conducted in 2003–2004 and 2007–2008, with a total of 6,721 camera-trap days, recorded two photographs of bush dogs and seven of short-eared dogs, in three continuous forest sites. On the basis of the large sampling effort it appears that these two elusive species occur at low densities in the study region. The continued presence of these species in an agricultural frontier with high deforestation rates makes this information of relevance for long-term conservation initiatives in this region and in other Neotropical agricultural frontiers.