#687 – An Example of Containment

One common strategy is to use inheritance when modeling an is-a type of relationship (e.g. a Terrier is-a Dog) and to use containment when modeling a has-a type of relationship (e.g. a Family has-a Dog).

Here’s an example of containment, where a Dog object contains instances of the DogName and DogAbilities classes.

    internal class DogName
        public DogName(string humanName, string nameInDogWorld)
            HumanName = humanName;
            NameInDogWorld = nameInDogWorld;

        public string HumanName { get; set; }
        public string NameInDogWorld { get; set; }

    internal class DogAbilities
        public DogAbilities(List<string> knownTricks, bool canBark)
            KnownTricks = knownTricks;
            CanBark = canBark;

        public List<string> KnownTricks { get; set; }
        public bool CanBark { get; set; }

    public class Dog
        public Dog(string humanName, string firstTrick, bool canBark)
            Name = new DogName(humanName, GenerateSecretDogWorldName());

            List<string> abilities = new List<string>();

            Abilities = new DogAbilities(abilities, canBark);

        public void Bark()
            if (Abilities.CanBark)

        public void DoTrick(string trick)
            if (Abilities.KnownTricks.Contains(trick))
                Console.WriteLine("Doing {0} trick", trick);

        public void TeachTrick(string newTrick)
            if (!Abilities.KnownTricks.Contains(newTrick))

        private DogName Name { get; set; }
        private DogAbilities Abilities { get; set; }

        private string GenerateSecretDogWorldName()
            return "His noble woofiness sir poops-a-lot";

About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about .NET technologies. Equally passionate about my own personal projects related to family history and preservation of family stories and photos.

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