Meet the Winner of Our 2021 Top Dog Contest

Labradoodle Norman Lebet of West Caldwell boasts brains, brawn and compassion.

top dog winner 2021

Norman Lebet Photo by Linda Bohm

Born four years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, this lucky Labradoodle named Norman is the winner of New Jersey Monthly’s 2021 Top Dog contest. Bred on a farm in Ohio, Norman resides in West Caldwell with the Lebet family.

The first thing you notice about Norman is his luscious cream-and-beige coat—what his owner, Lanna Lebet, calls his “perm.” 

Norman is a tall, athletic fellow who loves to romp outside—unless it’s raining. Weather willing, this curly-haired canine is always up for a game of Frisbee with his family or frolicking with friends. 

Norman is the complete package. He’s got brains and brawn and communicates easily with his human pals. “He’s not much of a barker,” says Lebet. “Norman says it all with expressions, gestures and a lot of eye contact. He’ll nod his head, point his nose and keep his gaze locked. He’s very patient.”

Norman’s compassionate nature comes to light when he sees someone cough or sneeze. “Ever since he was a puppy, if someone sneezes or coughs around him, he’ll stare at you for a while—just to make sure you’re okay,” says Lebet. 

On his best days, Norman enjoys some of his favorite snacks: Frosted Mini-Wheats, bananas or bacon. 

You can follow Norman on his Instagram (@thedailydoodle_norm) or on TikTok (@norma3562).

The winner of our 2021 Top Dog Contest (sponsored by Morris Animal Inn) was chosen in a two-step process. A total of 369 photos were entered in the contest from December 21–January 31, on this website. Ten finalists were chosen in an online vote. A panel of five experts chose the winning pet from the 10 finalists and two additional editors’ picks. The judging was based on five criteria: appeal of the pet, pose, composition of the photo, quality of image, and originality. Our judges: Linda Bohm, Bohm-Marrazzo Photography, Boonton; Leslie Leda, Leslie Leda Photography, Jersey City; Adrienne Longo, Electric Love Studios, Caldwell; Kate McMahon, professional groomer; and Alessandra Sawick, pet photographer, North Arlington. New Jersey Monthly donated a portion of the proceeds from the contest to benefit Marty’s Place, a senior-dog sanctuary.

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