This ability has gained the breed many admirers.
Unfortunately many of these, so-called admirers, have only had one thing on their mind, and that's-how much can I make out of this dog.
An owner will bring a dog along, but if it loses too many races, or simply fails to make the grade, at best its abandoned, and at worst put down.
Thankfully, the real admirers of this breed have responded.
Greyhound adoption groups have sprung up throughout the world, and have re-homed these likable, friendly dogs to genuine dog lovers.
Sweet natured, and intelligent these charming dogs can, and do make wonderful pets.
If you would like to help this breed by adopting an abandoned ex-racing greyhound there are a couple of things that you need to think about before jumping in: 1.
These dogs are trained to chase mechanical hares, and in some cases live ones.
Some of these dogs find it difficult to distinguish between a fleeing hare, or a cat, and every so often a small dog.
You'll be taking on an adult dog that has spent its entire life in kennels.
House-training wasn't part of their curriculum.
Re-training a greyhound isn't too problematical.
The rescue people are only too willing to talk you through any problems that may arise when adopting one of these dogs.
Believe me it really is worth the extra effort.
Speed in dogs has always appealed to man the hunter.
So it comes as no surprise that diagrams of dogs that closely resemble greyhounds have been discovered on 4000-year-old Egyptian tombs.
In England they are referred to as early as 1016, where English nobleman used this breed for hunting.
The organised racing of them came much later.
Inevitably, they found their way to America, and soon gained a cult following amongst a small group of fanciers.
The American Kennel Club was quick to recognise them as a definite dog breed, and classified them as a member of the Hound Group.
A fit and trim Greyhound weighs in at 60-70lbs, and stands tall at, 26-30 inches in height.
They are powerfully built, muscular dogs, narrow in the body, and long legged.
They have a long, whip like tail, dark eyed, and a sleek coat which can, and does, come in a wide range of hues Grooming is simple with this breed.
They are short coated, and light shedders.
All that's needed to remove loose hair and any accumulated dirt, is a brisk weekly brushing and combing.
Greyhounds are fast, but they are not hugely energetic.
They have inherited an incredible amount of stamina and pace, but go in to any home with a greyhound in residence and you'd come across a real enigma.
They are the complete couch potatoes indoors.
Consequently, they're suitable for apartment dwellers, but the addition of a fenced yard would be ideal.
Exercising these dogs is a real pleasure.
All that's needed to keep him in tiptop condition is a brisk, daily walk.
Coupled with some off the lead romping, providing there are no dangers from nearby traffic.
If you take the puppy-buying route to owning one of these dogs; then you're going to need to train him.
Socialising your puppy is extremely important, as they tend to be a bit shy around people on first meetings.
You should try puppy obedience classes, which are always a good idea for teaching new dogs, new tricks.
This breed is prone to bloating; so do not allow him to overeat.
Make sure that you feed him a good quality dog food.
Feeding two to three small meals per day is far better, than one large meal.
The greyhound is a relatively healthy breed.
Greyhounds are sociable and friendly dogs.
They rarely bark, are very playful, love being in a family, and adore family life.
Snuggling up next to the family on the sofa is the greyhound's idea of doggy heaven.
They're good with children, revealing their gentle nature, and love to play games with them.
They get on well with other dogs, but you'll need to be watchful if you have other small pets, as the prey instinct is still very much intact in this breed.
Becoming an owner of one of these dogs can be a real pleasure.
As with all dog breeds you need to be aware of their particular traits.
If you do take the plunge, you're going to be rewarded with a truly devoted family pet, and a very loyal companion indeed.