This is so wrong:
Here’s the rule about animals.
First though, I have to say that this is a fail right out of the gate: a singular noun (“puppy”) cannot yield a plural pronoun (“they”). The workaround is easy if you can change from talking about a singular thing to its plural: “puppy” to “puppies.” Then you’d be correct to write “black lab puppies” with “their huge paws.”
But! If this singular dog is named, it’s a “he” or a “she.” And this is typical in housepets: the sex of the housepet is known.
However, if the animal is not named (generally a wild animal), the animal is an “it”: The fish fought Andrew for at least 10 minutes, and then it broke the line and swam away.
So, the line should read “This TikTok of a Black Lab Puppy Using Its Huge Paws….”
But that’s not quite good enough, is it? It’s not precise enough. The writer should immediately share the sex of the puppy if he or she knows. Since this is a named housepet, it will be a “he” or a “she.”
Let’s assume the dog’s name is Heidi. Even in this day and age, “Heidi” is likely to be a girl.
So you’d write: “This TikTok of a Black Lab Puppy Using Her Huge Paws….”
Makes good sense, don’t you think?
The more accurate we can be with our language, the more dominant our language will be.
The men who have landed on the moon.
The men who have been president of the United Sates.
Pregnant “people” are always women; have you noticed?
The girl who had the miscarriage.
He has testicular cancer.
The moral of the story, all my writing friends, is that this gender homogenizing is absurd. Own your pronouns!
And please cease with the singular noun-plural pronoun thing. It’s just incorrect. I defy you to show me one sentence—just one—in which using a plural pronoun in place of a singular noun leads to a quicker, more precise understanding of the meaning of a sentence.
But at least now you know the rule about animals.