#768 – When to Call the Constructor of a Base Class

You can use the base keyword in a constructor, to call the constructor of a class’ base class.  You’d most typically do this to allow the constructor in the base class to initialize the data members that are defined in the base class.  Then the constructor of the derived class can initialize its own data members.

In the example below, the Terrier constructor uses the base keyword to invoke the Dog constructor.  Note that the Dog constructor will be executed first.

    public class Dog
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public int Age { get; set; }

        public Dog(string name, int age)
            Console.WriteLine("Dog constructor");
            Name = name;
            Age = age;

    public class Terrier : Dog
        public double GrowlFactor { get; set; }

        public Terrier(string name, int age, double growlFactor)
            : base(name, age)
            Console.WriteLine("Terrier constructor");
            GrowlFactor = growlFactor;



About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

2 Responses to #768 – When to Call the Constructor of a Base Class

  1. Pingback: When to Call the Constructor of a Base Class. | Sriramjithendra

  2. Pingback: Dew Drop – January 29, 2013 (#1,489) | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew

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