The average quarter horse is faster than a greyhound. During short races, these horses reach speeds of over 55 miles per hour. A greyhound's top speed is about 45 mph. Quarter horses typically run races one-quarter mile long, but they are also commonly used for pleasure riding, ranching and rodeos.

From a standing start, greyhounds accelerate more quickly than quarter horses. These dogs are able to reach their top speed within six paces. This is greater acceleration than any land animal except the cheetah. When not racing, greyhounds prefer sitting. This has earned them the nickname "couch potatoes." Opportunities for greyhounds to race are dwindling as of 2014, as the number of greyhound race tracks in the declining due to worry about the health and safety of greyhound dogs.