Why do we say ‘I like dogs’? Why can’t we say ‘I like dog’ if we are referring to a particular dog? Most people use ‘I like dogs’. Which is correct and why?
“I like X” suggests you like the stuff of X. When it is an animal, the implication is that you like to eat it. Thus, “I like dog” sounds like dog as a food.
“I like Xs” suggests you like things of the X type; thus for animate objects it suggests you enjoy spending time with them, so “I like dogs” suggests you like them as pets.
“I like this X” is entirely context dependent. “I like this chicken” when at a petting zoo would mean you think it is a friendly chicken, but at a meal table would mean you think it is tasty.