What is the __init__ method in Python?

Sep 5th, 2023


Python, a versatile and widely used programming language offers a bunch of features and functionalities that make it a favorite among developers. One such essential feature is the __init__ method, a fundamental concept of Python’s Object Oriented Programming paradigm.

In this article, we will learn about the __init__ method and how it works along with its crucial role in the Python classes.

What is the init method?

The __init__ method is a special method in Python classes. It is automatically called when you create an instance (object) of a class. It is known as a constructor in object-oriented concepts.

Here’s an example:

class Dog:
    def __init__(self, name, breed):
        self.name = name
        self.breed = breed
    def __str__(self):
        return f"{self.name} is a {self.breed}"

# Creating an instance of the Dog class
my_dog = Dog("Tiny", "Indian Pariah Dog")

# Printing the instance

In this example, the init method is defined within the Dog class. It takes two parameters, self( which refers to the instance being created) and name and breed which are used to initialize the object’s attribute.

Role of self in init method

The self parameter refers to the instance of the class that is being created. You can think of it as a reference to the object itself. The self-argument is used to access and modify its attributes when the init method is called by the class.

Initializing Object Attributes

Inside the init method you can set the initial values for the object attributes. These attributes represent the data associated with an object. In the above example, [self.name](http://self.name) and self.breed are the object attributes having the values passed as arguments when creating the my_dog instance.

What is the purpose of init method?

The init method servers several important purpose

  1. Initialization: It initializes the state of the object, ensuring that it starts with the desired attributes and values.
  2. Attribute Assignment: It assigns values to the object’s attributes making them accessible for further use throughout the object’s lifespan.
  3. Configuration: It allows you to perform any configuration tasks or any setup that is necessary for the object to function correctly.
  4. Customization: You can customize the initialization process by adding additional logic with the init method, such as validation check.


In Python, the init method is a crucial component of object-oriented programming. It plays a crucial and major role in initializing and configuring objects and makes it easier to work with classes and instances. Defining an init method with classes ensures that the object starts in a consistent and well-defined state.

I hope you have learned something new from this article, thanks for reading…

Have a great day!