They are not just a pet, they are like having another kid. They will require the same time, attention and care, but you will reap the same rewards. You give them attention, training, mental & physical exercise and they will reward you with love, joy and lots of kisses/snuggles.
They are high maintenance, and require interactive exercise. They will be an integral part of your family, and will want (need) to be a part of everything in your life.
Do you have 2 hours a day to devote to exercising the dog?
Are you happy to spend your weekends hiking?
Are you prepared to share your sofa, lap, bed with the dog (no really, no matter what you say, that dog will be on your lap within weeks if not hours)
As a first dog, this will be a lot of work. I grew up with a GSP and my husband with ridgebacks, so we knew what we were getting into, but its still overtaken our lives. We dont WANT to go out without him. We havnt seen a movie in the theater since we got him, we eat takeout in and rarely go out for dinner anymore. Our weekends revolve around where were going for our weekend adventure with the dog. He is a member of our family, I love him more than I ever thought it possible to love a dog, and be brings me so much joy. He also licked a drink of my cider last night, tried to scratch the electrical outlet out of the wall, and stole one of my shoes in an effort to get me to chase him around the house. Wouldnt change it for the world!