At the seventh time of asking, Hamburg finally picked up three points thanks to a 1-0 victory at Signal Iduna Park to haul themselves off the foot of the table.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga netted the only goal of the game in the 35th minute, steering home after Nicolai Muller latched on to Adrian Ramos' wayward pass and slid the ball into the area.
Dortmund piled the pressure on as the match progressed, with Ramos going close twice in the second half, but Josef Zinnbauer's men held on to clinch a priceless victory, leaving Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund on the end of a third league defeat from four.
Champions Bayern Munich had no such difficulties, though, as they easily dispatched Hannover 4-0 at the Allianz Arena to go four points clear at the top.
Robert Lewandowski netted Bayern's quickest goal of the campaign so far after six minutes following Rafinha's fine long pass and Arjen Robben doubled their lead with an excellent individual effort soon after.
Lewandowski added a third towards the end of a dominant first half, poking home after receiving Xherdan Shaqiri's excellent pass and Robben rounded off a resounding victory 11 minutes from time with a well-taken finish.
Schalke's Bundesliga momentum ended following a three-game unbeaten streak as they were defeated 2-1 at Hoffenheim, who themselves moved up to second.
Roberto Firmino's fine form continued as he claimed assists for each of Hoffenheim's goals, first squaring to Tarik Elyounoussi for an easy finish, before slipping Adam Szalai through for a one-on-one.
The Brazilian now has 25 goals and 19 assists in his last 46 competitive games for Hoffenheim, who held on for a slender win despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulling one back late on.
Bayer Leverkusen lost further ground on leaders Bayern as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to 10-man Bundesliga newcomers Paderborn, who had Marvin Bakalorz sent off 18 minutes from the end.
After Lars Bender cancelled out Suleyman Koc's initial opener, Moritz Stoppelkamp appeared to have given Paderborn the win three minutes from time
Karim Bellarabi, though, netted a dramatic late equaliser in the 90th minute, keeping Roger Schmidt's side in the top four.
Eintracht Frankfurt edged a five-goal thriller with Cologne, winning 3-2 in front of their own supporters thanks to Kevin Wimmer's 79th-minute own-goal, while Werder Bremen are bottom following their 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Freiburg.
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