Mario Gotze gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot in the 11th minute, but a first professional goal from Amin Younes earned the Foals a point midway through the second half.
The result sees Dortmund take a small slice out of Bayern Munich's advantage at the top of the Bundesliga and are now trailing by 17 points.
All eyes were on Marco Reus on his return to Monchengladbach, the side he left last summer after inspiring them to a berth in the Champions League with 18 goals last season.
Yet Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp instead chose Gotze as his striker in the absence of the suspended Robert Lewandowski and Julian Schieber.
The pair combined to carve out the first chance of the game which resulted in a penalty when Marc-Andre ter Stegen felled Gotze after he nudged the ball past him.
The Gladbach goalkeeper was only booked, but he could not get near Gotze's spot-kick.
Dortmund continued to dominate proceedings with Gladbach struggling to make it even across the halfway line.
A stern half-time team talk must have been held by Gladbach coach Lucien Favre as the Foals emerged transformed in the second 45 minutes.
Younes had their first shot on goal in the 56th minute before bringing them level little over 10 minutes later with a shot which deflected past Roman Weidenfeller off Lukasz Piszczek.
Gladbach gained more belief and they even had the best chance to win the game in the last minute when Peniel Mlapa failed to beat Weidenfeller in a one-on-one situation.