Marcel Schmelzer gave Dortmund the lead in the 37th minute with an unstoppable free-kick but Per Nilsson levelled six minutes into the second half as Nurnberg handed a favour to their Bavarian neighbours Bayern Munich.
Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from a their Champions League defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday by putting four past Mainz at the Coface Arena in a 4-1 win that leaves them just one point behind Dortmund.
Robbie Kruse claimed a double with Lars Bender and last season's Bundesliga top-scorer Stefan Kiessling completing the rout, condemning Mainz to a third straight defeat after they had won their opening three games of the season.
Yunus Malli scored a consolation for the hosts in the 82nd minute, but their early-season glory is now a distant memory.
Wolfsburg came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 and maintain their 100 per cent record at home this season to break into the top six.
Anthony Modeste gave Hoffenheim the lead with his fifth goal of the season in the 15th minute, but one goal either side of the interval from Ivica Olic secured Dieter Hecking's men their third win in as many home games.
Hoffenheim rallied late on, but could not find an equaliser as they were left in mid-table.
A change in coach did not bring the desired result for Hamburg as they were beaten 2-0 by local rivals Werder Bremen.
Two goals from Nils Petersen were enough for Bremen to end their three-game losing streak and edge back into the top half of the table, leaving Hamburg in the bottom three after a fourth defeat in six games.
Hannover made it four wins out of four at home to move up to fourth in the table, although they left it late to beat Augsburg 2-1.
Szabolcs Huszti kept his cool to score an 89th-minute penalty to earn the Reds all three points and end Augsburg's club-record three-game winning streak.
Paul Verhaegh also scored from the spot to give Augsburg the lead in the 51st minute before Artur Sobiech levelled matters on the hour mark.Bayern Munich took full advantage of Dortmund's draw in the evening game, drawing level on points at the top of the table with a 4-0 rout of Schalke.
Two quick goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic effectively ended Schalke's hopes midway through the first half before Franck Ribery and Claudio Pizarro finished the Royal Blues off.
Meanwhile, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer maintained his record of never having conceded against his former club.