identifying problem with lawn
I moved into a property this Spring and am having difficulty getting to grips with the lawn. Over the Summer it has developed dead patches of varying shapes and sizes (see below), which are encircled by lush green growth which outgrows the 'healthy' or unaffected parts of the lawn.
When I moved in, the lawn had grown to about hip-height over the late Spring / early Summer before I moved in, and I quickly chopped it back to the highest setting on my Flymo (all in one go, though, which I read may have been the wrong thing to do).
Since then my regime has been to weed the lawn with a hand weeder (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00023T8TO), and no chemicals, and to cut the lawn every few weeks.
When I first noticed the brown patches, I watered it for a few hours a day using a sprinkler (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0017RKEHY/), but that didn't seem to make any difference.
I've done a bit of reading and have come up with two possible culprits:
1) I have a neutered male dog, who urinates in the garden. Given the placement of the dead patches, I'm not certain it's him, though. Can dog urine cause this kind of problem? If it is likely to be him, what can I do? Is there a type of seed I should use that is resilient to that for example?
2) I have read about 'fairy rings' and wonder if a fungus may be at work, given the lush growth around the dead parts.
Most recently, I've bought some aerating shoes so will have a go at giving the lawn a bit more access to air and water and see if that helps.
Does anyone recognise this type of problem with a lawn, and could you recommend any suitable treatments?