How can I figure out if my dog is aggressive towards other dogs or just excited and curious?

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So I have an older dog that I've adopted a month or so ago. We've had some trials but things are smoothing out. My apartment complex has a little dog park in it and I take him there in the mornings to run around before I go to work. Today we encountered another dog and owner who were coming in. My pup was wagging his tail and barking his head off. He makes some really aggressive sounding noises when he plays and his barking sounded nothing like this. His ears were pricked, tail was wagging, but a ridge down his back had all the hairs on his back standing. That's quite normal for him when he encounters another dog – even when they're playing. The dog he was trying to engage was through a chain link fence and started to snarl at him. I've noticed there is another dog that does the same thing when my pup has gone up to sniff and what not in the halls.

My dog has spent time at doggie day care and with other dogs and mostly been fine. Gets overwhelmed at doggie day care after too long and got a little territorial when he was put back on a leash with the other dogs.

So my question is – how can I figure out if my dog is aggressive towards other dogs or just excited??

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